Two men have pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in connection with the 2011 shooting death of an innocent bystander outside a Plainfield convenience store, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Tuesday.
Jordan Camacho and Laquan Chandler, both Plainfield residents, accepted plea agreements requiring them to serve 15 years in state prison apiece, with 85 percent of their sentences to be served before the possibility of parole, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Bruce Holmes, who is prosecuting the case. The pleas were entered Monday before state Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Walsh.
On March 21, 2011, Plainfield resident Nelson Santos Betance, 46, was sitting in his car after purchasing a phone card in the store at the corner of West Third Street and Monroe Avenue in Plainfield’s West End when gunshots were fired out of a nearby vehicle, killing him, Holmes said. A joint investigation by the Plainfield Police Division and the Union County Homicide Task Force quickly resulted in the location of the suspect vehicle and the determination that Camacho and Chandler were the shooters.
Camacho, who was 18 at the time, and Chandler, who was 15, both are confirmed members of Plainfield’s G-Shine set of the Bloods street gang; Chandler was waived up from juvenile court to be charged as an adult. Each defendant ultimately admitted shooting in the direction of the store at other people on the street when Santos Betance was killed.
Sentencing has been scheduled for January 10, 2014.