Banker due back in court in cabbie hate crime case

Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:28pm EDT
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By Michelle Conlin

STAMFORD, Connecticut (Reuters) - The Morgan Stanley investment banker accused of a hate crime in the assault of an Egyptian-born taxi driver over a fare is due back in a Connecticut court next week.

The charges against William Bryan Jennings stem from a taxi ride he took from New York City to Connecticut after drinking at a Morgan Stanley holiday party last December.

Authorities have said that taxi driver Mohamed Ammar, an Egyptian-born U.S. citizen, had agreed with Jennings on a fare of $204 before leaving Manhattan for Jenning's home in the wealthy town of Darien, Connecticut, about 40 miles away.

When they pulled into the driveway of Jennings' $2.7 million mansion about an hour later, a fight broke out inside the cab.

Darien Police said Jennings threatened Ammar and used racial slurs. They said he then took a pen knife from his briefcase and stabbed Ammar in the hand. The wound required six stitches.

Jennings was arrested on February 29 and placed on leave from his job as co-head of U.S. bond underwriting.

He pleaded not guilty on March 9 in Superior Court in Stamford, Connecticut, to charges of intimidation as a hate crime, theft and assault. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 11 years in prison.

Jennings was due back in court for a status hearing on Thursday, but the proceeding was postponed to April 17.   Continued...

Morgan Stanley investment banker William Bryan Jennings leaves Superior Court in Stamford, Connecticut March 9, 2012. REUTERS/Adam Hunger