Today’s news:

Accused cabbie shooter rejects plea deal, opts for trial

The man accused of sticking up fast-food restaurants around the borough and shooting livery cab driver Trevor Bell several times at close range turned down a plea deal Wednesday and will go to trial.

Shawn Peace, 22, was bereft of the mohawk hairdo seen in his mugshot as he shuffled into Queens Criminal Court and formally reject a deal that would have put him behind bars for 21 years in exchange for a guilty plea.

Peace, speaking through his attorney, reserved his right to testify at the trial, which is scheduled to begin April 28.

“It’s an outrage. He clearly believes that this judiciary system is broken and that he can get off a lot easier,” said Fernando Mateo, president of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, speaking on behalf of the Bell family. “I hope that the judge will sentence him to 50 years in jail. This is a career criminal. He doesn’t even deserve to see the light of day again. That is the reaction of the family.”

An attorney for Peace could not be reached for comment.

Peace, a North Carolina resident who once lived at 161-18 118th Ave. in Jamaica, is accused of attempted murder and robbery in connection with the Dec. 3 shooting, when he approached Big D’s Royal Cab Service, at 117-02 Merrick Blvd. in Jamaica, and asked for a ride to a dead-end street at 117-60 122nd St. in Ozone Park at about 8:50 p.m., according to the DA.

Bell drove him to the location and upon arrival an argument ensued between the two, which ended when Peace allegedly shot Bell several times in the limbs and neck.

Peace was also connected to six other robberies throughout the borough, according to the DA.

Between July and November 2010, Bell also allegedly robbed five restaurants and one other car service. In one case, he shot an employee of a Popeye’s Fried Chicken, at 245-01 Francis Lewis Blvd., who attempted to stop the robbery, the DA said.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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