BENTON, La. – A former taxi cab company owner who hired a convicted sex offender -- later convicted of using one of the taxis to kidnap a Stonewall student then kill him -- is in jail accused of rape.
Bossier Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested David McFarlin, 56, of the 300 block of Green Acres Blvd. in Bossier City, Thursday in a charge of first-degree rape. They say he sexually assaulted someone at a Bossier City tavern early that morning.
McFarlin owned a company that had to undergo a transformation as part of a wrongful death lawsuit. Amy Whitham Fletcher sued McFarlin not long after her son, 12-year-old Justin Bloxom, was killed on March 30, 2010.
Fletcher said McFarlin was liable because he hired Brian Horn, the man convicted of killing Justin, even though he knew Horn was a convicted sex offender.
In a settlement reached in February 2016, McFarlin agreed to pay monetary damages and change the name and look of his taxi cabs. The cab that Horn drove when he picked up Justin landed in Fletcher’s possession through a private buyer and was shredded at a Mansfield scrap metal business.
McFarlin apologized to Fletcher in court for making a “horrible and tragic decision when I allowed a registered sex offender with a violent, felonious background to drive an Action Taxi. … I have regretted that decision that I made every day since Justin was killed and I will regret it every day for the rest of my life.”
Horn was driving one of McFarlin’s cabs when he picked up Justin from a friend’s home in Stonewall. Horn had portrayed himself as a young girl in texts to Justin and the "girl" said she was sending a cab to pick him up so they could meet.
But the cab ran out of gas on U.S. Highway 171 in Stonewall before Horn could get far with Justin. And that’s where Justin was killed. His body was found hours later in a shallow pool of water across a fence line.
The taxi was seen alongside the highway about the time Justin was reported as missing and Horn quickly came under suspicion. A jury convicted him in April 2014 and sentenced him to die by lethal injection.
But the conviction and sentence were overturned last fall because of a precedent set by another Louisiana case. A new trial date has not been set but Horn remains at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.
McFarlin, meanwhile, is in Bossier Maximum Security Facility. His bond is set at $150,000.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This version corrects McFarlin's status as former owner of the company.