Three convicted in connection with Plainfield killing

A Union County jury has returned guilty verdicts against all three people who stood trial for their roles in the fatal shooting of a Plainfield man in his home nearly five years ago, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Wednesday.

Alejandro Lopez, 30, Mayrenid Hidalgo-Bautista, 31, and Rodney Rosario, 33, were convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, while Lopez and Rosario both were also convicted on charges of murder, felony murder, burglary, two weapons offenses, and two counts of both criminal restraint and aggravated assault. The verdict was returned Tuesday, following a nearly month-long trial before state Superior Court Judge John M. Deitch and several days of jury deliberations. 

On Sunday, November 24, 2013, Plainfield Police Division patrol units were called to the 700 block of East Sixth Street on a report of a shooting and found the body of 28-year-old Jose Disla-Cordero in the basement of his home, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutors Jillian Reyes and Milton Leibowitz, who prosecuted the case. Disla-Cordero had sustained gunshot wounds to the arm, leg, chest, and head, and numerous pieces of ballistic evidence were recovered at the scene, Reyes and Leibowitz said.

An investigation by the Union County Homicide Task Force, assisted by the Plainfield Police Division, Perth Amboy Police Department, Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit, Union County Police Department Ballistics Unit, and local chapters of the FBI and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations resulted in the three defendants being identified as suspects in the case, and they were located and arrested at various points during the ensuing two years.

A fourth suspect was also identified, and prior to trial he pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit murder. During the trial of the other three, it was revealed that, believing that the victim had stolen from them, the defendants burst into Disla-Cordero’s home and held two other adults at gunpoint in the basement while using three handguns to shoot the victim to death.

Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for Friday, January 11, 2019 before Judge Deitch, at which time Lopez and Rosario will face terms of up to life in state prison.

In addition to the aforementioned assisting agencies, the Prosecutor’s Office would like to thank the Union County Sheriff’s Office’s Warrants Unit and authorities in Clay County, Missouri for their aid in retrieving witnesses for the trial.