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Suspect Charged In Cab Driver’s Death Given Death Penalty Expert As Lawyer

Tommy Smalls, 26, is accused in the murder of two Bronx livery cab drivers. (Credit: CBS 2)

Tommy Smalls, 26, is accused in the murder of two Bronx livery cab drivers. (Credit: CBS 2)

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – One of the defendants suspected in the shooting deaths of two livery cab drivers in the Bronx has been assigned a defense lawyer that is experienced in death penalty cases.

Tommy Smalls, 26, appeared in federal court so an attorney from the “capital panel” of lawyers, specially trained in capital punishment law, could be officially named to represent him.

Smalls is charged with carjacking with intent to cause death. If convicted, he faces a maximum of life in prison or the death penalty. Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty.

Three other men, 21-year-old Takiem Ewing, 25-year-old Tyrone Felder, and 26-year-old Kareem Martin, are facing the same charge in connection with the Aug. 12 carjacking and killing of Aboubacar Bah.

According to a complaint filed, Smalls, known as “Tommy Guns,” was arrested based on video surveillance footage and the word of an informant.

Surveillance video captured Bah’s body being dumped from his car onto the street, the complaint said.

The complaints against all four suspects also link Bah’s death with the fatal shooting of another cab driver, Maudo Kane, a week earlier. So far the suspects are only charged in Bah’s death.

The U.S. attorney’s office said Kane’s death and two robberies in Yonkers also mentioned in the complaints are still being investigated.

Manhattan lawyer Peter Quijano, who received the assignment, would not comment on the case.

The suspects are expected back in court Aug. 30.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)