TACOMA, WA – After deliberating for approximately an hour, a Pierce County jury convicted Jaycee Fuller, 37, of first degree murder for the killing of cab driver Mohamud Ahmed. Prosecutor Mark Lindquist and Deputy Prosecutor Erika Nohavec tried the case, arguing to the jury that Fuller was motivated by financial desperation and his hatred of immigrants. On March 8, 2009, Fuller attempted to rob Ahmed and killed him in a struggle by slitting his throat and stabbing him in the liver.
Ahmed was an immigrant from Somalia who came to the United States in search of a better life. In the early morning hours of March 8, 2009, he picked his last fare, Fuller, in the Sixth Avenue area of Tacoma. Police later found Ahmed dead outside of his cab with the meter still running. Ahmed’s throat was cut and he had been stabbed in his side. At the murder scene, police found a Keg restaurant cap. Ahmed’s blood was outside the cap, and the defendant’s DNA was inside the cap.
The Keg cap with the defendant’s DNA was the linchpin in a multifaceted case presented by prosecutors, which relied on more than 20 witnesses, video evidence, GPS readings, and DNA. The defendant testified, denying the killing and professing revulsion at the sight of blood. In closing argument, the defendant, representing himself, spoke for nearly four hours. He argued that the evidence was circumstantial, the evidence pointing to him was coincidental or false, and people were out to get him. In a 20 minute rebuttal, Prosecutor Lindquist called this “the unluckiest man alive” defense.
Sentencing is set for December 19, 2014. The defendant is facing up to 30 years in prison.
Assistant to Prosecutor Mark Lindquist
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office