Man sentenced for fatally shooting taxi driver who rejected drugs as payment
Posted July 25
Dekalb County, GA — DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston announces a conviction by guilty plea in the murder case against a man charged with killing a Chamblee taxi driver.
During plea proceedings last week, 22-year-old David Garcia-Mendoza entered a guilty plea to charges of Felony Murder, Kidnapping, Aggravated Assault, Theft of Services and weapons offenses in connection with the shooting death of 43-year-old Luz Mariana Matheu.
Matheu was gunned down on October 1, 2016 shortly after picking the Defendant up from a Buford Highway hotel. Witnesses reported seeing the two arguing in the front seat of the victim's car while parked at a nearby gas station. The Defendant then held a gun to the victim's head before forcing her to drive away.
He pulled the trigger a short distance later, causing the victim to lose control of the vehicle and crash into a fence at the intersection of Warwick Circle and Woodacres Road in Chamblee.
The victim suffered a fatal gunshot wound the head.
The Defendant fled the scene into a residential area and forced two men to the ground at gunpoint before escaping into a wooded area.
Garcia-Mendoza was arrested after being tracked by a canine unit while hiding in a kudzu patch.
During a police interrogation, the Defendant admitted being under the influence of drugs and alcohol and shooting the victim because she would not accept drugs as payment for his taxi ride.
Following his plea, Garcia-Mendoza was sentenced to life plus five years in prison by DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Adams, who presided over the case.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Buffy Thomas prosecuted the case with assistance from DA Investigator Sweden Bailey. Detective M.R. Winfield of the Chamblee Police Department led the initial investigation.