A cold case North Charleston taxi driver stabbing that was solved partially through the use of a special deck of playing cards ended in a guilty plea last week.
Derrick Lester Wright, 43, accepted a negotiated plea of manslaughter and was sentenced to 20 years in state prison, the 9th Circuit Solicitor's Office said.
Wright's plea stems from the stabbing of Eugene Thomas, 62, a driver for Yellow Cab, who was stabbed to death while on the job, Oct. 3, 2002.
North Charleston police responded to a report of an abandoned cab and discovered Thomas dead of multiple stab wounds, according to court records. The cab was parked in a lot outside the former Roper Hospital North on Speissegger Drive, a facility that had been closed for more than a year by the time of the incident.
The murder had been considered a cold case. Lee Halley, general manager of Yellow Cab, donated money for Crime Stoppers to print and distribute playing cards bearing images of victims of unsolved Palmetto State crimes. The cards are made available to prison inmates. Eugene Thomas' face was on two of the cards. An inmate from Greenville later reported the connection to authorities.