BONNER COUNTY, Idaho – Prosecutors will seek the death penalty in the case against a 19-year-old Puyallup man who is charged with first degree murder for fatally stabbing a taxi driver last August.
Bonner County Sheriff officials said Jacob Corban Coleman, 19, flew from Seattle to Spokane with the intention of starting a new semester at college. Coleman said he was denied entry to Gonzaga, became angry and began to have homicidal thoughts.
He hailed a cab from Spokane and asked the driver, Gagandeep Singh, 22, to be driven to a fictitious house in the eastern part of Bonner County. A news release at the time of the homicide said Coleman became increasingly homicidal in the cab. He asked the driver to stop at a gas station in Ponderay, purchased a knife and re-entered the cab.
Singh eventually stopped the cab in the city of Kootenai after realizing Coleman’s destination was nonexistent. According to court documents, that is when Coleman stabbed the victim with the knife he purchased earlier.
Singh’s family told KREM2 last year they had been on the phone with Singh just before he was killed. They were later able to trace his phone to the intersection where his body was found after their calls and texts went unanswered. Singh’s brother said the suspect took his brother’s phone and texted them “Just call the f***ing cops already! It’s not hard.”
Gonzaga officials released a statement that said they had no record of an application for admission from Jacob Coleman of Puyallup, Washington.
Louis Marshall, the prosecuting attorney for Bonner County, filed his notice of intent to seek the death penalty on Feb. 28.
"Specifically, the State is giving noticed that it intends to prove one or more aggravating factors including 1) the murder was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity, and/or 2) by the murder or circumstances surrounding its commission, the defendant exhibited utter disregard for human life," the notice reads.
Coleman is slated to go to trial in April, according to the Idaho State Repository.