Thursday, December 14, 2017

Two More Arrested, Charged in Connection with Taxi Driver Murder

Three people were arrested this week in connection to the shooting death of a Newport taxi driver, police said.

Wednesday, Justin Russell was arrested and charged with murder after Newport patrol officers stopped his car just after 2:00 p.m. and saw shell casings from a gun in plain view.

Then later that day, Alyssa Baker, 19, and Jarrett Anness, 18, all from Newport, were arrested and charged with murder after police learned more information about the two during interviews. Additionally evidence collected helped lead to the charges.

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Sources tell Fort Thomas Matters that Russell and Baker have dated for a number of years and have children together.

"These cases have to develop very rapidly when it comes to evidence for us to have a good chance of us apprehending the suspect," said Lt. Chris Fangman of Newport Police. "The longer it goes, the tougher it gets and our detectives did a great job."

Det. Dennis McCathy said that they had determined there was an exchange of counterfeit money for narcotics, which could be a potential motive for the killing. He could not say how much money was used in the drug buy.

Surveillance video showed a shadowy figure fire into DePhillips' cab and seconds later he could be seen driving almost two blocks before crashing into nearly a half-dozen other vehicles in the 900 block of Washington Street.

Police say that DePhillips was homeless and was staying in vacant properties, hotels and his taxi.

A female passenger, who police say was acquainted with DePhillips, was in the back seat of the taxi while the shooting took place.

Russell doesn't have much of a criminal record in Kentucky, but was arrested in November in Campbell County and charged with alcoholic intoxication in a public place.

Baker and Anness do not have serious criminal records.

PHOTO: Anness, Russell and Baker. Mugshots provided. 

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