On April 4, Darien Marquez-Connerly, who was arrested on May 22, 2011 by the Evanston Police Department for the murder of cab driver Leodis Blackburn, entered a plea of guilty to the charge of First Degree Murder at the Cook County Circuit Courthouse in Skokie, Illinois, said Commander Joseph Dugan of the Evanston Police Department.  In accordance with the plea, Mr. Connerly was sentenced to 35 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.     

On May 15, 2011, Mr. Connerly allegedly flagged down Leodis Blackburn, a cab driver, at Howard Street and Ridge Avenue. When the cab arrived in the 500 block of Elmwood Avenue, Mr. Connerly allegedly shot Mr. Blackburn one time in the head during an attempted armed robbery, said the Commander. Mr. Connerly was arrested by members of the Evanston Police Department and the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force.  

The Commander said, “The Evanston Police Department would like to recognize the members of the department’s detective division as well as the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force and Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office for their hard work and dedication in this investigation.”