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Man Arrested, Charged in Cab Driver Shooting

Police say a 19-year-old Chicago man attempted to rob the taxi before shooting the driver.

Police have arrested a 19-year-old man who they say in Evanston on May 15.

Police said Darien Lawrence Marquez Connerly of Chicago has confessed to attempting to rob the cab driver and shooting him once in the head.

Connerly flagged down the taxi in the area of Ridge Ave. and Howard St. on the night of May 15, police said, and requested to go to the 500 block of Elmwood Ave.

When the cab arrived at the location, police said Connerly asked the driver to stop, opened the rear driver side door, partially exited, and then pulled out a 25 Cal. semi-automatic handgun and said he was going to rob the driver.

The driver, Leodis Blackburn, attempted to drive away, but Connerly shot him once in the head, striking just above his left ear.

"The shot to the head incapacitated Mr. Blackburn, whose taxi continued south bound in the 500 block of Elmwood striking parked cars, then coming to a rest," said Police Cmdr. Tom Guenther at a press conference Monday.

Connerly then fled the scene on foot. .

The Evanston Police Department and the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force investigated the shooting, and received an anonymous tip that they say led to Connerly's arrest.

Police said they also reviewed surveillance video from police cameras in the area and have footage of Connerly entering the cab just prior to the incident.

Working with NORTAF, the EPD tracked down Connerly in Chicago and arrested him Saturday. Although he lived in the city, police said he was likely visiting an acquaintance in Evanston.

Connerly has been charged with one felony count of armed robbery and one felony count of first degree murder. At the time of the shooting he was on parole for a previous aggravated robbery case. His court date has been set for June 21 in Skokie. 

Lonson Williams May 23, 2011 at 07:54 PM
Jessica, What happened to this guy after his arrest for battery in March? According to Patch reporting, he was supposed to be in court last month: http://evanston.patch.com/articles/police-blotter-april-1-two-men-caught-stealing-at-dominicks Obviously a massive fail by the criminal justice system. Any more details on the March arrest would be interesting. Can anyone identify the graffiti on the tattoo he has as his Facebook picture? http://www.facebook.com/dmarquezdaboss5
Tim Williams May 23, 2011 at 07:54 PM
A very heartfelt thank you to the Evanston Police Department and the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force for their efforts on this case. Excellent police work all the way around. This incident in particular disturbed me a great deal and it's good to know this man's killer is off the streets. My sincere condolences to the Blackburn family. Leodis did not deserve to die this way.
Jessica Rudis (Editor) May 23, 2011 at 08:33 PM
You are a champion at finding people on Facebook and Mypace, Lonson! Unfortunately we don't have people reporting in the courts for most minor cases like that, but I'll see what I can do to find court documents regarding that case. Police said he was already on parole, but they said it was for aggravated robbery.
Frank May 24, 2011 at 12:39 PM
The tatoos are tear drops. In prisons they are supposed to signify that you have killed someone (and he has three on his face). And this guy is from Evanston, not Chicago. He just happened to be living in Chicago at the time.
J C May 24, 2011 at 12:42 PM
Well it must be frustrating for the police and district attorneys to arrest and convict these thug criminals, Only to have them released back into society to escalate their criminal behaviors. Obviously the "parole" board deemed he was no threat to the public. They are the ones who need to be charged !!!!
Lonnie wilson May 25, 2011 at 06:43 AM
I know this wont go over well in the lock em up and leave em age!! But I must say it, I know this young man and he needed help a long time ago! We sing the praises of our school system he is a product also, we are producing droves of lost mentally challenged youth Why? We need massive intervention fast, A thug is made not born we all have a part in the loss of both lives The cab driver REST his soul, and the lost soul of this young man!! its not the standard line and I know most dont care , but we dont have the funds to lock em all up!! And there are 100s of youth with just as much wrong inside walking right next to you now!!
Dominic Connerly April 21, 2012 at 06:40 PM
You'll don't even know my brother or what we've been through. So b4 u start calling people thugs n criminals try 2 find that out. Blessings 2 the Blackburn fan, and may God have mercy on my bro. Let God be the judge. Its not you all's job!!

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