MARIETTA, Ga.,None - A text message between high-schoolers led police to the suspect in a taxi driver’s killing.
Ricardo Francois, 23, had only been a cab driver for five days when someone shot him in the back of the head. It happened two years ago at the Lincoln Hills apartment complex in Marietta. With no witnesses and few clues, investigators admit their case was going nowhere.
“The leads dwindled, and it went cold,” Cobb County police Detective John Dawes said in court.
That changed last month, when school officers arrested 17-year-old Javin Rashad Andrews for stealing from several classrooms at Wheeler High School, police said. Andrews’ girlfriend sent text messages to friends about the arrest, and one message prompted a student to go to an administrator.
“The text message said that Rashad, who we identified as Javin Rashad Andrews, had killed the taxi driver in the back of Lincoln Hills and that it had been done with a gun,” Dawes said.
Andrews first admitted to being in the cab during the shooting. Then, he said he was with a friend, now identified as James Mitchell. Both blame the other for pulling the trigger.
Police haven't found the murder weapon, but said they have pictures from Andrews’ cellphone and his mother's computer that put the possible murder weapon in his hands.
“Located photographs of this defendant with that same pistol six days after the murder in various poses with that pistol,” Dawes said.
Mitchell was arrested in Columbia, S.C., and faces extradition.
Andrews is being held at the Cobb County Jail without bond.