Plainfield man convicted of 2010 killing of taxi driver

A Union County jury has returned guilty verdicts against one of the two men responsible for the 2010 robbery and murder of a Plainfield taxi driver, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Wednesday.

The jury deliberated for several hours over the course of two days following a three-week trial before state Superior Court Judge Scott J. Moynihan prior to finding Jonathan Morgan, 28, guilty of robbery and felony murder in connection with the death of 44-year-old Isidro Leonardo.

The date was September 28, 2010 when Plainfield Police Division units rushed to the 200 block of Spooner Avenue in Plainfield to find Leonardo in his taxi suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An intensive joint investigation by the Union County Homicide Task Force and the Plainfield Police Division resulted in Morgan and 23-year-old Wallace Parrish, both confirmed members of Plainfield’s Sex Money Murder set of the Bloods street gang, being identified as suspects, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Caroline Lawlor, who prosecuted the case. Parrish was arrested in October 2010 and convicted following a five-week trial that ended in April 2013, while Morgan turned himself in to police in June 2011.

The investigation, which was spearheaded by Union County Prosecutor’s Office Lt. Jorge Jimenez and Sgt. Kevin Grimmer, determined that Morgan called several Plainfield cab companies on the morning of Leonardo’s death with the intent of robbing a driver. Leonardo, an employee of Plainfield’s United Taxi and the father of two young sons, was the driver dispatched to pick up Parrish and Morgan before a robbery attempt turned violent, after which both fled the area.

Morgan is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24, at which time he will be facing a term of 30 years to life in state prison. Parrish, who testified during Morgan’s trial and is expected to receive a similar term, will have a sentencing date scheduled during the coming days.