Defense attorney appointed to Idaho death penalty case for fatal cab driver stabbing

The Bonner County Sheriff's Office arrested a 19-year-old Puyallup man and charged him with murdering a 22-year-old Spokane cab driver because he said he mad after being denied entry into Gonzaga University. 

The Sheriff's Office says Jacob Coleman flew from Seattle to Spokane on Monday with the intention of starting a new semester at Gonzaga University. Coleman told deputies he was denied entry into the university and he became angry and even began to have homicidal thoughts. 

Coleman said he then hailed a cab from the Spokane Airport and asked to be taken to a fictitious friend's house in the east part of Bonner County, Idaho. Coleman said as they drove his thoughts became increasingly homicidal and he asked the cab driver to stop at a store in Ponderay. Coleman went into the store and bought a knife. 

Deputies say Coleman then asked the driver, identified as 22-year-old Gagandeep Singh of Spokane Valley, to drive east to a nonexistent destination. Deputies say when it became apparent that Coleman didn't have a legitimate destination or friend in north Idaho, Singh stopped the cab near the intersection of Spokane St. and E. Railroad Avenue in the city of Kootenai. Deputies says Coleman then took out the knife he bought and stabbed Singh. 

Relatives of Singh began calling the cab company after he failed to check in with them. Relatives eventually contacted Bonner County Dispatch and a short time later, a patrol supervisor found the cab and Singh was dead. 

Coleman surrendered without incident and has been charged with 1st Degree Murder. 

Gonzaga released a statement on Coleman after hearing the news. 

"Gonzaga University has no record of an application for admission from Jacob Coleman of Puyallup, WA," Director of Community and Public Relations spokesperson Mary Joan Hahn said in a statement. "An individual matching his description was reported to have approached housing officials on campus Monday. As Mr. Coleman was not enrolled as a student, he was never assigned to campus housing and was informed of this fact by the Housing and Residence Life Office. We continue to gather information and work with law enforcement to support their investigation. Our hearts go out to the victim of this tragic crime and his family."

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call the Bonner County Sheriff's Office at 208-263-8417. 

Recommended for you