Suspects in Mt. Laurel cabbie attack appear in court

Pictured: 18-year-old Briana Pimienta / 21-year-old Mahadi Robinson / 21-year-old Miguel Mercado

January 31, 2012 2:22:27 PM PST
Today marked the first court appearance for suspects in a crime against a cabbie in South Jersey.

The three adult suspects made their first appearances via video link at the Burlington County Courthouse Tuesday. The judge set their bail at $300,000 dollars with no 10% option. He called the crime "a cold, calculated premeditated assault."

From jail, 18-year-old Briana Pimienta was the first to appear before the judge this afternoon.

Like all the suspects, she is charged with attempted murder, robbery and carjacking.

21-year-old Miguel Mercado appeared next. The judge reminded him he is accused of a very serious offense.

Then, 21-year-old Mahadi Robinson made his court appearance. Robinson is the suspect accused of slashing the neck of cab driver Joseph Dominguez.

Investigators say around 3:00 a.m. yesterday, the three suspects and a 17-year-old juvenile male arranged to have the cab pick them up at a Cherry Hill pharmacy.

They instructed the driver, 20-year-old Joseph Dominguez, to take them to Forrest Court in Mount Laurel.

Investigators say when the suspects arrived, Robinson put Dominguez in a chokehold, slashed his neck, and then robbed him of $40.

A bleeding Dominguez stumbled to a nearby home for help.

Mercado allegedly got into the driver's seat and crashed the cab into a tree at the end of the block.

Robinson and the juvenile were picked up shortly after the attack.

Pimienta and Mercado were later arrested at their Cherry Hill apartment.

All three defendants gave their address as the same apartment building in Cherry Hill. They all asked for public defenders.

The prosecutor told the judge the cab driver remains in critical condition Tuesday afternoon.