Prosecutors: Teen shot taxi driver in head, stole credit cards

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — One of two suspects in the homicide of 66-year-old Donald DePina was ordered held without bail and committed to Bridgewater State Hospital for evaluation following his arraignment Tuesday afternoon.

Bristol Country Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III and New Bedford Police Chief David Provencher announced Tuesday morning Alexander Mills, 18, of New Bedford, and a 16-year-old juvenile male were taken into custody Monday night.

Charges against Mills include murder, possession of a firearm and armed robbery.

During Mills’ arraignment, prosecutors said both suspects got into DePina’s cab and directed him to a parking lot in New Bedford’s Brooklawn Park.

There prosecutors said Mills shot DePina in the head, got out of the car and shot him again. After trying to steal the taxi, Mills took off with DePina’s credit cards, they said.

Prosecutors said Mills’ fingerprints were found in the car and he was caught on camera in the taxi.

During his arraignment, it was revealed Mills has complained of hallucinations and hearing voices.

He was evaluated by a psychologist, who recommended further evaluation.

“The only time that it appeared he was competent to a court, in this very building, was when he was properly medicated and then they found him to be competent – when he’s on medication. When off, it’s anybody’s guess,” said defense attorney Drew Segadelli.

According to police, DePina was found unresponsive Saturday night in the parking lot of Brooklawn Park. He was later pronounced dead at St. Luke’s Hospital.

DePina, a Vietnam veteran, spent his life supporting fellow vets by taking charge of Veteran Affairs under former Mayor Frederick Kalisz, Jr.

Current Mayor Jon Mitchell called the murder a heinous act of violence.

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