Murdered cab driver’s family reacts to killer’s 40-year sentence

Emotions were high Thursday in a Bonner County, Idaho courtroom. A man who admitted that he stabbed a Spokane cab driver to death, will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.

21-year-old Jacob Coleman pleaded guilty in November to first-degree murder. He killed Gagandeep Singh, a taxi driver who picked him up at the Spokane airport and drove him to Sandpoint, Idaho. Coleman said he flew from Seattle to Spokane to start a new semester at college, but he was not enrolled in any college. Singh stopped the cab in Kootenai, Idaho, when it became clear, that Coleman didn’t have a destination. That’s where Coleman stabbed Singh to death.

Thursday, Coleman faced Singh’s family in court, along with his own parents.

The Singh family has been waiting a year and a half for this moment. The day justice is served for the man who took the life of someone they love.

Coleman finished his final statement to the family of Singh, by grabbing the microphone in somewhat of an outburst. Security then restrained him back to his seat with handcuffs.

“We think about him 24/7, all the time, day and night. There’s just no space that we don’t think about him,” said Baljit Singh, Gagandeep’s brother.

The courtroom was filled with members of Singh’s family and friends, all waiting for the judge to sentence Coleman.

“Overall, 40 years – and we’re okay with that decision,” Singh said.

But before the sentencing, Coleman had the opportunity to speak.

“I’m sorry,” Coleman said.

He spoke for about five minutes, addressing his mental health and his actions.

“I don’t think he was sorry at all, how he was saying sorry to me or my family. And i know for a fact, he’s not sorry at all,” Singh said.

Even after security restrained Coleman, he continued to speak out of turn. The judge ultimately sentenced Coleman to forty years to life in prison.

“I don’t think there’s been a day gone yet where we don’t think about his name, we don’t look at his pictures,” Singh said.

Coleman pleaded guilty to first degree murder in November. As a result, prosecutors dropped their efforts to get Coleman the death penalty.

Get your weather forecast from people that actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.