Benning soldier’s charge upgraded to armed robbery

Daniel David Murphy wanted out of the Army — a desire that led him to rob a cab driver, an officer testified Tuesday at his Columbus Recorder’s Court hearing.

It started just after 6 p.m. Monday when the 27-year-old, who pleaded not guilty, called Goldstar Taxi Service from Betjeman Drive, Columbus Police Officer Lourdes Aviles said. Wearing his military battle dress uniform, Murphy asked for a ride to post.

On the way, he asked to stop at 2817 1/2 Lee St., Aviles said. The soldier stepped onto the driveway and returned shortly later, pulling a knife and demanding money from the driver.

“He was the one that got out of my car and put a knife to my face,” the driver told Judge Mary Buckner.

Murphy took the driver’s taxi keys, his cell phone and $50 in cash, reports state. He also destroyed the cab’s radio, the driver said.

The soldier then fled, Aviles said.

Once police learned of the robbery, they spoke to a man at the Betjeman apartment where Murphy was. He told them Murphy was recently kicked out of the Army — a story that conflicts with the story Murphy gave police, Aviles testified.

Later the same day, around 11 p.m., Murphy called police from the Circle K at 3274 Victory Drive and said he wanted to turn himself in. Officers met him at the store and read him his rights.

“And he confessed to him at that time,” Aviles said. “He said that he pointed a knife at the taxi cab driver and robbed him.”

Murphy told officers that he wanted out of the military and that the robbery was the only way out, Aviles said.

The soldier is a recent graduate of basic training, said Public Affairs Officer Elsie Jackson. He is with the 199th Infantry Regiment.

Buckner upgraded the charge to armed robbery, bound the case over to Muscogee County Superior Court and ordered Murphy held without bond.