Woman accused of trying to kill Gloversville cabbie pleads innocent

SCHENECTADY – A Gloversville woman accused of trying to kill a Gloversville taxi driver in Schenectady pleaded innocent Wednesday to attempted murder and other charges in Schenectady County Court.

Desere D. Shaw, 18, appeared in court with her attorney, Sven Paul, for arraignment on an indictment accusing her of second-degree attempted murder, three counts of first-degree assault and a count of fourth-degree grand larceny, said Schenectady County Assistant District Attorney Edward Moynihan.

Moynihan said Shaw pleaded innocent and Schenectady County Court Judge Karen Drago ordered she continue to be held without bail.

“The case was transferred to the judge’s trial calendar,” Moynihan said. “What will happen next will be a request for discovery materials, and I expect the defense counsel will make a series of motions regarding the evidence. The court gave us a schedule where by if the defense counsel wants to make motions, this is the date they have to make them by.”

Police said Shaw stabbed 28-year-old Derek Leach, a Glove City Transportation taxi driver who had driven her to Schenectady, on Feb. 7 near the Schaffer Heights Apartments.

Schenectady police said Leach was stabbed in the area of Eastern Avenue and Nott Terrace just before 7 p.m. When officers responded, they found him bleeding at the Schenectady County Public Library.

Schenectady Police Department Lt. Mark McCracken previously said Leach was airlifted by helicopter to Albany Medical Center Hospital.

Leach’s taxi was found after the stabbing with its engine running at the corner of Windsor Terrace and Prospect Street.

Authorities said Shaw drove the cab to that location after stabbing the driver.

This resulted in the grand larceny charge, said Schenectady County Assistant District Attorney Laurie Cummings.

Cummings said this morning Leach suffered a large laceration on his face, and other cuts on his arms and back.

She said authorities have not found the weapon.

Cummings said the suspect’s motive remains unclear.

“It is very clear that she was the individual in the car and she is the one that caused these injuries, but motive is something we are still exploring,” Cummings said.

The owner of Glove City Transportation, Jake Spraker, said Shaw was a regular customer of the cab service.

Shaw was arrested Feb. 9 by the Schenectady Police Department’s Detective Division, which received assistance from the Gloversville Police Department.

According to Schenectady County Court, she will appear in court again June 17.

The court will render a decision that day relating to any motions the defense makes, Moynihan said.

Spraker said Leach could come back to work at any time, but Leach has decided he isn’t ready.

Gloversville Mayor Dayton King said the city may work with the local taxi services to install plexiglas inserts between the back seat and front seat of cabs to help protect drivers.

“I don’t know if we need to require them, but I think they would like to protect their drivers, and it is a conversation we will have this month with them,” King said.

Spraker, however, said the inserts would provide little help.

“It would do no good because for this incident they were out of the car,” Spraker said. “If people don’t respect cop cars and constantly kick them out, what is going to happen to my cab?”

He said when his cab was returned, no blood was inside the vehicle and only a few spots were found on the side panel of the vehicle.

“A cab driver is very vulnerable because you are driving around a stranger to a destination you are not familiar with,” King said. “It’s just sad to hear that we are in 2013 and we have to think about these types of things. Back like 50 years ago, somebody stabbing a taxi driver was never heard of and is just a sign of the disrespect people have these days and how desperate people may become.”

Shaw’s attorney, Sven Paul, did not return phone calls seeking comment.