Fourth defendant sentenced for Plainfield killing

A fourth defendant has been sentenced in connection with the fatal shooting of a Plainfield man in his home in 2013, after his three co-defendants stood trial and were convicted for their roles in the crime late last year, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Friday.

Angel Mejia, 28, was sentenced Friday to 14 years in state prison by state Superior Court Judge John M. Deitch after earlier pleading guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit murder.

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 multiple gunshot wounds, 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 FBI – resulted in the defendants being identified as suspects in the case, and they were located and arrested at various points during the ensuing two years.

During the October 2018 trial of 30-year-old Alejandro Lopez, 31-year-old Mayrenid Hidalgo-Bautista, and 33-year-old Rodney Rosario, it was revealed that, believing that Disla-Cordero had stolen from them, the defendants burst into his home and held two other adults at gunpoint in the basement while using three handguns to shoot the victim to death. All three of these defendants 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.

In January 2019, Judge Deitch sentenced Lopez, Hidalgo-Bautista, and Rosario to a combined total of 140 years in state prison.

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