United States - One of four defendants has been sentenced to life in prison in the death of a Somali immigrant cab driver three years ago in Pittsburgh.
Daniel Russell, 23, told an Allegheny County judge during Tuesday’s sentencing that he needed a new court-appointed attorney so he could file an appeal, accusing his current attorney of being ineffective.
Russell was convicted of second-degree murder in November in the death of Ramadhan Mohamed in February 2017. Three other defendants are scheduled for trial in May.
Prosecutors allege that the group wanted to rob a pizza delivery driver but due to the late hour opted for a cab driver. Authorities said they punched, kicked and beat Mohamed, 31, who died three days later at a hospital. At the time, the victim had a 2-year-old son and his wife was pregnant.
The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh and others investigated the slaying as a hate crime, but police and prosecutors said there was no evidence that the suspects were motivated by Mohamed’s nationality, race or religion.