Man Charged In Cab Driver’s Murder; More Details

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 20-year old Robbinsdale man has been charged with second-degree murder for allegedly shooting a cab driver in the back.

New details are surfacing about what happened during the last few minutes of 56-year-old William Harper’s life.

Police believe Samuel Johosephat Taylor also carried out a robbery the same night of the shooting.

Police found Harper on the corner of 23rd Ave and 4th Street, lying in the street outside of his yellow cab.

Taylor turned himself in with the assistance of an attorney, but the victim’s family says they are still waiting for justice.

“My brother was my best friend. We were very close,” William Harper’s brother, Robert Harper said.

It was last Wednesday when Roseville Police showed up at Robert Harper’s door step to tell him his brother and best friend had been shot.

“I was dumbfounded. I was absolutely dumbfounded,” Harper said.

A former truck driver and limousine chauffeur, Harper had just taken a job with yellow taxi the week before the shooting.

Harper says his brother got into the cab business to help transport people with medical needs and the elderly, often off-the-meter.

“He really felt fulfilled when he did something for somebody that needed something,” Harper said.

According to the criminal complaint, Taylor had “changed the appearance of his hair” and bleached his hands because “a witness had seen him run from the crime scene.”

“That was a very cowardly thing to do to shoot somebody in the back like that through the seat of a cab,” Howard said.

Taylor’s criminal history shows he was charged with five felony counts of first-degree aggravated robbery in 2010. He was put on probation until 2013, but admitted to violating his probation last month. As a result, he was ordered to a group home.

Robert Harper questions why Taylor wasn’t taken into custody after his probation violation.

“If he would’ve been taken off the street and put in prison, my brother would probably be alive today,” Harper said. “If a person is that dangerous to society, why are we letting ’em walk around?”

Harper says he admires cab drivers, and thinks much like his brother, they take their life in their hands daily.

“I feel very sorry for the cab drivers out there,” Harper said.

Taylor is currently in the Hennepin County Jail. If he’s found guilty, he could face up to 40 years in prison.

William Harper’s funeral will be held Monday in Roseville.


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