A Kentucky woman has been charged with murder for reportedly shooting and killing her Texas Uber driver after mistakenly believing he was kidnapping her and taking her to Mexico.
As of Sunday, Phoebe Copas has remained behind bars since the June 16 shooting death of 52-year-old Daniel Piedra Garcia, according to the Associated Press.
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Uber Driver Fatally Shot By Passenger Who Thought He Was Kidnapping Her To Mexico
Piedra allegedly drove Copas while she was visiting her boyfriend in El Paso, situated on the U.S.-Mexico border.
The 48-year-old told authorities she panicked during the ride after spotting a road sign that showed Juarez, Mexico, was only seven miles away. She said she believed Piedra had kidnapped her and was taking her to Mexico, police said.
Copas then reportedly pulled a loaded handgun from her purse and shot Piedra in the head, causing the vehicle to crash moments later.
Just so everyone is aware, this is what the alleged murderer looks like. 48yo Phoebe D. Copas of Kentucky. pic.twitter.com/sYSP6DrAr2
— Fahad Alam (@FahadMAlam) June 25, 2023
Piedra’s Taken Off Of Life Support, Police Say No Evidence Of Kidnapping
Piedra’s family eventually took him off life support several days after his hospitalization. Doctors allegedly told them he would never recover.
His niece, Didi Lopez, described Piedra as “a hardworking family man” to the El Paso Times.
“He was a hardworking man and really funny,” Lopez said. “He was never in a bad mood. He was always the one that, if he saw you in a bad mood, he’d come over and try to lift you up.”
Meanwhile, investigators refuted Copas’ claims that she was being kidnapped.
An arrest affidavit stated Piedra’s car was never “in close proximity of a bridge, port of entry or other area with immediate access to travel into Mexico.”
Police further told the press that Piedra’s never “veered from (her) destination.”
Piedra’s niece said that she “wishes Copas would’ve spoken up, asked questions” if she felt scared instead of acting “on impulse and making a reckless decision.”
“I wish she would’ve spoken up, asked questions, not acted on impulse and make a reckless decision, because not only did she ruin our lives, but she ruined her life, too. We just want justice for him. That’s all we’re asking.”
Piedra’s Wife Creates GoFundMe, Copas Held On $1.5 Million Bond
The victim’s wife, Ana, has since created a GoFundMe.
“The money collected will… pay for hospital and funeral expenses and other difficulties that may arise,” she writes.
The fundraiser has earned $81,306 as of Monday. Those interested in donating to Piedra’s fundraiser can do so here.
Copas remains held on a $1.5 million bond.
She was initially charged with aggravated assault. However, the charge was later upgraded to murder following Piedra’s death.