PLAINFIELD, NJ - One of two defendants convicted of being responsible for the 2010 robbery and murder of a Plainfield taxi driver has been sentenced to 30 years in state prison for the crime, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Monday.
Wallace Parrish, 23-years-old, must serve the entire 30-year term before becoming eligible for parole, according to terms set down Friday by state Superior Court Judge William Daniel.
The date was September 28, 2010 when Plainfield Police Division units rushed to the 200 block of Spooner Avenue to find 44-year-old Isidro 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, the Plainfield Police Division, and the Union County Sheriff’s Office resulted in Parrish, a.k.a. “Wawa,” and 28-year-old Jonathan Morgan, a.k.a. “J-Rummy,” 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 Parrish and 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.
Parrish later testified at the trial of Morgan, who was convicted by a jury in March 2015 and a month later sentenced to 45 years in state prison, with at least 38 years of that term to be served before the possibility of parole.