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Jury given case of slain cabbie

An Upper Darby man was charged in the 2007 killing. The defense said his twin may be guilty.

Jury deliberations began last evening in the murder trial of an Upper Darby man accused of killing a cabdriver on Christmas Eve 2007.

"Ramir Steve was Gregory Cunningham's last passenger because he killed him," James Halligan, assistant district attorney, told the Delaware County Court jury in his closing argument.

At 5 p.m., Judge Barry C. Dozer told the jurors to call their families because they would be starting deliberations. He ordered pizza for their dinner.

They ended their deliberations about 11 p.m., and were scheduled to resume their work at 9 this morning.

Steve, 19, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of Cunningham. The body of the 42-year-old Clifton Heights man was found in a walkway between two buildings of the Park Lane East Apartments in Upper Darby hours after he was dispatched to the 7400 block of Rogers Avenue, where Steve lived.

A cab-company dispatcher testified that a man - not Cunningham - had answered the driver's radio call and said Cunningham would not be going to pick up his next fare.

"I shot the [cabdriver], and he is dead," she recalled the man saying.

Halligan, in closing arguments, said Ramir Steve had lured the cabdriver that night to rob him and steal the cab. Ramir Steve later told three friends he had committed the murder, Halligan said, asking the jury to recall the testimonies.

During his two-hour closing argument, defense attorney Walter Breslin, who did not call any witnesses, suggested Steve's identical twin was the culprit.

"There was a match on the revolver. Romar and Ramir have the same DNA. Both handled it," said Breslin.

He asked the jury to take into consideration that Romar Steve, who is facing separate weapons and conspiracy charges in the case, got a "good deal" from prosecutors for his cooperation.

If Ramir Steve is convicted of first-degree murder, he could face the death penalty.