Gunman in armed robbery of Columbia cab driver to serve five years

The Columbia man alleged to have been the gunman in the armed robbery attempt of a Columbia Flyer taxi driver last March was sentenced to five years in prison last week, the State's Attorney's office announced Monday.

Khalid Khahiem Woods, 20, of the 9500 block of Wandering Way, was sentenced in Howard County Circuit Court by Judge Richard S. Bernhardt on Friday after pleading guilty to armed robbery and conspiracy charges in connection with the incident.


Woods is one of four Columbia residents to plead guilty in the crime, which occurred when all four were teenagers.

According to the statement of facts in the case, Woods and the three other teens were picked up by the cab driver on the evening of March 1 at Sweet Fern and asked to go to Sewells Orchard. During the drive, one of the three teens sitting in the back began to choke the driver with a karate belt.

As the driver was choked, the front seat passenger, believed to be Woods, pointed a metal object at the driver, which is believed to be a gun, and said, "I'm going to kill you," according to the statemen of facts.

The driver then accelerated the car into a tree, which deployed the airbags and allowed him to flee, according to the facts. Howard County police discovered a yellow karate belt and a black BB gun located in the taxi. Using cellphone data, police were able to link Woods and the three other teens to the crime.

The three others charged in the crime have already received sentences for their guilty pleas.

On Aug. 20, Johnam Perez-Rivera, 17, of the 9400 block of Merry Rest Road, pleaded guilty to one count of armed robbery and one count of first-degree assault and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

On Sept. 6, Chelby Ofosusafori, 18, of the of the 6500 block of Woven Moonbeam Street, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery. He was sentenced to a suspended sentence and five years' probation in October.

Woody Rousseau, 17, of the 6500 block of Pennacock Court, pleaded guilty in September and was sentenced to nine months, which will be split between prison time and house arrest.

All four are also required to pay joint restitution to the cab driver of $4,187.02.