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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    1 of 3 men pleads guilty in cabbie’s death


    One of three men charged in connection with the 2008 shooting death of a taxi driver outside the Shirley train station has pleaded guilty to his role in the attack.

    Jimmy Ruiz, 18, of Bellport, pleaded guilty Friday in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead to first-degree attempted robbery for taking part in the fatal attack on cabbie John Attrino, 53, ofShirley.

    Ruiz is expected to be sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison, said his attorney, Jason Bassett of Central Islip.

    Ruiz and two other men, Michael Taggart, 23, of Melville, and Corey Holmes, 20, of Mastic, were charged last year with taking part in the fatal assault on Attrino just before 3 a.m. onNov. 25, 2008, outside the Long Island Rail Road station in Shirley.

    Prosecutors said Attrino, who worked for the Hampton Coach Cab company in Mastic Beach, was shot in the head and torso during an attempted robbery. He later died.

    Taggart and Holmes each have pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree attempted robbery.

    As part of his guilty plea, Ruiz agreed to testify against the two men, Bassett said.

    “”He would have to cooperate with the district attorney’s office, and if either of his co-defendants go to trial, he would be expected to testify at those trials,”” Bassett said.

    A spokesman for the district attorney’s office could not be reached Sunday for comment.

    A second-degree murder charge against Ruiz will be dismissed when he is sentenced under the plea agreement, Bassett said. He added that Ruiz will not be sentenced until the criminal cases against Taggart and Holmes are completed.

    Ruiz, Taggart and Holmes are being held without bail at Suffolk County jail.

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