A 23-year-old former Army soldier was sentenced on Wednesday to 16 to 67 years in prison for the 2011 shooting death of a cabdriver.
Autumn Dawn Murry in March pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and robbery with use of a deadly weapon for the slaying of Las Vegan Tesfaye Arze, 30.
Prior to the slaying, Murry also robbed a Mini-Mart in the 4500 block of East Russell Road, near Mountain Vista Street.
Arze was found with a gunshot wound to his head early March 4, 2011, in the 6300 block of High Sierra Avenue, near Mount Hood Street and Carey Avenue, just a block from the address on Murry’s driver’s license.
Arze was robbed of $224.60, and $500 was taken from the store.
A key piece of evidence in the case was a security video that showed two people in the cab shortly before Arze was found.
Investigators identified the two women as Murry and Felicia Mosley.
After the arrest of the two women, Mosley pleaded guilty to robbery and will be sentenced at a later date.
During a sentencing hearing before Judge Stefany Miley, Murry apologized to Arze’s friends and family for what she had done, but said the cab driver attacked the two women.
“Everyday, I ask for the Lord’s forgiveness,” Murry said.
Evidence in the case indicated that Arze may have believed Murry and Mosley were attempting to flee the cab without paying. Arze confronted them and tried to keep them from leaving.
Defense lawyers said Mosley’s DNA was found under Arze’s fingernails, indicating the confrontation may have turned physical.
Prosecutor Brad Turner asked for a maximum life in prison term. Turner said Murry was cold and calculating when she shot Arze in the back of the head and then rummaged through his pockets for cash.
Deputy special public defender Michael Hyte asked for a minimum 10- to 25-year sentence.
Hyte said Murry was mentally unbalanced, which was why she was discharged from the Army.
About 10 members of the local Ethiopian community who were friends with Arze attended the hearing wearing T-shirts with his picture and the word “Justice.”
Following the hearing, Arze’s friend Adane Misgun said he was pleased with the judge’s ruling.
Misgun said the local Ethiopian community has been sending financial support to Arze’s family in Africa. Misgun said Arze’s mother has been ill since her son’s death. Arze also supported several siblings.
Contact reporter Francis McCabe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-1039.