by Jackee Coe - Aug. 15, 2011 10:39 AM
The Arizona Republic
Avondale police arrested a cab driver and his passenger who they say beat a man to death Saturday after a near collision in a Sam's Club parking lot.
Taxi driver Gary Mayo, 45, of Peoria, was booked into Fourth Avenue Jail on one count of first-degree murder, Avondale police spokesman Reuben Gonzales said. His passenger, Shawn King, 47, of Avondale, was booked on one count of second-degree murder, Gonzales said.
The pair is accused of beating to death 57-year-old James Fournier, of Buckeye, about 5:15 p.m. in the parking lot between the Sam's Club store and nearby strip mall near Dysart Road and Van Buren Street, Gonzales said.
A physical fight apparently broke out between Mayo, King and Fournier after Mayo backed his AAA Yellow Cab Chevrolet van out of a parking spot and nearly hit the Kia Sportage Fournier was a passenger, he said. Fournier's wife also was there but did not participate in the altercation, police said.
During the fight, Fournier collapsed on the ground and Mayo kicked him multiple times while he was down, leaving him unconscious and unresponsive, Gonzales said. Mayo and King then left the scene in the cab.
Police officers attempted life-saving measures on Fournier until Avondale firefighters arrived, who took him to St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, where he was pronounced dead, Gonzales said.
Police located the cab using the taxi GPS device, stopped the van about an hour later in the area of 107th Avenue and Van Buren and took Mayo into custody, Gonzales said. King arrived on scene a short time later and turned himself into police. It was unclear how he knew to turn himself in at the area.
The investigation is ongoing, he said.