The man accused in the fatal 2011 shooting of a taxicab driver in Evanston pleaded guilty today and was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Darien Marquez-Connerly was arrested a week after the May 15, 2011, shooting by Evanston police for the murder of cab driver Leodis Blackburn.

Police say Marquez-Connerly had flagged down Blackburn, a driver for Best Taxi Service, at Howard Street and Ridge Avenue. When the cab arrived in the 500 block of Elmwood Avenue, Marquez-Connerly shot Blackburn once in the head during an attempted armed robbery.

Blackburn, 50, of 5930 W. Iowa St. in Chicago, died four days later at St. Francis Hospital.

Evanston Police Cmdr. Joseph Dugan praised the efforts of Evanston detectives and the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force that led to Connerly’s arrest a week after the shooting and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office for its efforts in prosecuting the case.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Lauren Edidin accepted the builty plea and imposed the 35 year sentence today in Skokie district court.

Related stories

Cabbie shot in south Evanston (5/15/11)

Shot cab driver dies (5/19/11)

Chicago man charged in fatal shooting of cab driver (5/23/11)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Leave a comment

The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.