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East Boston pair plead not guilty to robbing cabdriver

Police report suspects also assaulted victim

An East Boston couple was arraigned Monday on charges that they beat and robbed a cabdriver when he refused to drive above the speed limit, officials said.

Kristy Morgan, 28, and Robert Chamness, 32, were arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on charges of unarmed robbery, malicious destruction of property over $250, and assault and battery.

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Morgan is also charged with resisting arrest and two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Both defendants pleaded not guilty to all charges and were released on their own recognizance.

They are scheduled to return to court Oct. 16.

Morgan and Chamness allegedly hailed a cab on Friday morning outside the Maverick MBTA Station in East Boston, the office of Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.

The couple paid the driver $30 to be taken to Boston Medical Center, Conley’s office said.

Morgan then allegedly told the driver to hurry, because the couple needed to reach BMC by 11 a.m. When the driver refused, Morgan allegedly reached from the back seat to scratch the driver’s face.

Chamness allegedly joined in, punching the victim in the neck and the base of the skull and breaking his glasses, the district attorney’s office said.

Both Morgan and Chamness then demanded their fare back, prosecutors said. The driver pulled a wad of cash from his pocket, totaling about $45.

Before he could separate $30, Morgan allegedly took the money and fled with Chamness.

On Saturday, Boston police observed a couple matching the alleged assailants’ descriptions in the area of Meridian and Liverpool streets in East Boston. The victim met officers there and positively identified the couple, later identified as Chamness and Morgan, as his attackers, said Conley’s office.

As police arrested the couple, Morgan allegedly kicked and elbowed officers, causing herself and the officers to fall to the ground, prosecutors said.

Kiera Blessing can be reached at kiera.blessing@globe.com.
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