Police: Cabbie stabbed to death by rider who couldn't pay

- St. Pete police shared graphic new details Friday about the brutal murder of United Taxi cab driver, John Hutchens.

The 60-year-old was repeatedly stabbed early Thursday morning by a man police said wasn't able to pay his fare.  

Hutchens picked up his alleged killer, 27-year-old Juan Carlos Juares, at a home in unincorporated Pinellas County just after midnight Thursday. Police say the ride and what happened afterward was caught by cameras recording inside the cab. 

Asst. Chief James Previtera described what happened at a news conference Friday afternoon. 

Juares got into Hutchens' cab, but when they got to his destination, he told Hutchens he didn't have money for his fare, but he could go get it. Juares left the cab and returned with $5 and a card of some kind, and then asked to be taken back to his pickup location. 

"The driver was obviously very irritated that he wasn't getting his money. He told Juares he was going to drop him off somewhere where the police could find him,” said Asst. Chief Previtera.

A few minutes later, they pulled into a Citgo gas station.

"Without any provocation at all, Juares reached up from the backseat and began to violently stab Mr. Hutchens repeatedly,” Previtera said. 

Detectives who viewed the video said it was "the most violent attack [they] have seen in years."

Previtera said Hutchens tried to fend off his attacker, but Juares became more aggressive, continuing to stab Hutchens for more than a minute. 

Hutchens managed to get out and stagger to the gas pumps, but the brutality wasn’t over. Previtera said surveillance video from the gas station then shows Juares "calmly" walk over and stab Hutchens several more times before "calmly" walking back to the cab and driving off in the blood-soaked taxi. 

Juares was arrested later Thursday night after the cab company called to report its GPS system identified a driver who been stationary for a long time, and the driver was not responding. That driver was John Hutchens.

Police say Juares apparently ditched the cab not far from where he was picked up earlier in the night. He was taken into custody a short time later.

Previtera, obviously shaken by the events he described, said this was an unnecessary tragedy. 

“It wasn’t a lot of money. This man died for no good reason,” he said.

Juares is in jail without bond. His criminal history includes multiple DUI arrests in Pinellas County.

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