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Death penalty off the table for suspect in CATS driver homicide

Darian Dru Thavychith is facing multiple charges related to the killing of Ethan Rivera in an alleged road rage shooting.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Prosecutors will not seek the death penalty against Darian Dru Thavychith, the suspect charged with killing Charlotte bus driver Ethan Rivera in an alleged road rage shooting in February.

The ruling came down when Thavychith appeared in court on Thursday.

Rivera died after being shot while working his route in Uptown on Feb. 11. Detectives said he and Thavychitch got into an argument, which led to the shooting on West Trade Street near BB&T Ballpark. 

Thavychith was on the run for nearly two weeks until he was captured in Kansas, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said. He was formally charged with murder and shooting into occupied property in connection with Rivera's killing. He was extradited to North Carolina by the end of March and has been in jail since. 

He is expected to appear in court again on Nov. 17.

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CATS CEO John Lewis said following Thavychith's arrest that the update was a "bright ray of sunshine" for the CATS family. Since that time, CATS drivers have addressed Charlotte City Council about their safety concerns

"It's time to stand up," one driver told city leaders. "They're scared that they're not going to make it home to their family."

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