ELIZABETH, NJ - Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Wednesday that a grand jury has returned a three-count indictment against a Plainfield man who is charged with fatally stabbing his roommate following an argument shortly before midnight this past New Year’s Eve.
According to the report, Darin Jose Cano Vasquez, 24, is charged with first-degree murder and third- and fourth-degree weapons offenses in connection with the death of 43-year-old Alejandro Cadena-Toapanta.
According to the prosecutor's office, at approximately 11:45 p.m. on Sunday, December 31, 2017, Plainfield Police Division patrol units responding to the 600 block of West Front Street found Cadena-Toapanta on the front lawn of a residence suffering from multiple stab wounds, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Armando Suarez, who is prosecuting the case. Cadena-Toapanta was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Suarez said.
A fast-moving investigation involving the Union County Homicide Task Force, Plainfield Police Division, and Union County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit quickly resulted in Vasquez being identified as a suspect, and he was taken into custody without incident in Plainfield hours after the stabbing.
Anyone with information about this homicide still is being urged to contact Homicide Task Force Sgt. Johnny Ho at 908-403-8271.
Convictions on murder charges are commonly punishable by terms of 30 years to life in state prison.
These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.