Essex Jury Convicts Newark Man of Felony Murder of East Orange Taxi Driver
Newark – Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II, announced today that an Essex County jury has convicted Sheedley Pierre, 22, of felony murder, robbery, conspiracy, using a juvenile in a crime, and weapons offenses for his role in the killing of Jonas Larose, a 55-year-old East Orange taxi cab driver.
“Mr. Larose was a hardworking family man who was simply trying to make an honest living when his life was taken by Pierre and the juvenile. While there is nothing we can do to bring him back to his family members, hopefully, the jury’s verdict will give them some sense of justice,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Jason Goldberg, who tried the case.
According to Goldberg, on Nov. 30, 2016 Pierre and a 14-year-old juvenile called for a cab. When Larose arrived, they pulled a gun on the cab driver and attempted to rob him.
Witnesses heard popping sounds. Police later found Larose in his taxicab in the 200 block of Snyder Street in Orange at approximately 11 p.m. suffering from two gunshot wounds to his head. The defendant and the juvenile fled on foot. They ran before taking any money. Witnesses heard them laughing and saying they had just killed the cab driver.
Pierre gave detectives in the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force a statement admitting being at the scene and admitted knowing it was going to be a robbery but denied his involvement.
DNA from a bloody jacket linked the victim to the Pierre. In addition, there were Facebook messages between the juvenile and Pierre the morning after the murder.
The 14-year-old male and Pierre were arrested and charged in connection with the crime. The juvenile was sentenced to 10 years. He is not being identified because he was tried as a juvenile and juvenile records are confidential public.
Following a one-month trial before the Honorable Ronald D. Wigler, Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division, Pierre was convicted on all six counts today. Sentencing is scheduled for Monday, June 17. Pierre faces 30 years to life in New Jersey State Prison when he is sentenced.