Murder Suspect Richard Mendoza Jr. To Be Freed Over Paperwork Error, In Fort Bend County Texas. Update: Gets 50 Years in Cold-Case Murder

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Normal Murder Suspect Richard Mendoza Jr. To Be Freed Over Paperwork Error, In Fort Bend County Texas. Update: Gets 50 Years in Cold-Case Murder

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:50 pm



November 18, 2011

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Because someone forgot to file certain paperwork, a Fort Bend County man accused of murdering his friend will walk out of jail in a couple of days. It's what might happen after that that has the victim's family worried.

Fort Bend District Attorney John Healey admits his office made a mistake. He calls it "unfortunate" that this murder suspect is being released on bond as a result of that mistake.

Richard Mendoza, Jr., will soon be released on bond because no charges were filed in the 90 days since his arrest.

"Injustice, absolute, total injustice," Samantha Talley, the victim's aunt, told Eyewitness News. "Fort Bend County said that they made a mistake -- and it's a big mistake -- and that they are letting a murderer walk free from this courtroom."

Missouri City Police say Mendoza killed 17-year-old Christopher Daigle in 2003. The case went unsolved for years. But detectives kept working the case and returned to a rural area between Arcola and Juliff off FM 521 in Fort Bend County. There, they found bones now determined to be human. Family says DNA tests have preliminarily determined the remains belonged to Daigle.

"We were waiting until we got a more complete picture based upon DNA testing," Healey said.

Healey says he blames himself for the oversight. He says his prosecutor has been sanctioned but will not say how.

He added, "The bottom line is my office made a mistake and I accept full responsibility for it."

Under the law, Judge Pedro Ruiz saw no alternative but to release Mendoza on bond. He set a $75,000 bond, but it's a type of bond that requires no down payment. Mendoza, however, will be required to have no contact with Daigle's family and his location will constantly be monitored by satellite.

Daigle's mother Tracie Gregory fears Mendoza will run.

"The district attorney forgot the date. She forgot to file," she said. "I don't understand how that can happen on something very important like a murder. If it was their child, they wouldn't have forgotten."

Mendoza won't be released until he can be set up with that satellite monitoring system and that won't happen until at least Monday. The victim's family says they fear that he might come after them. Mendoza's attorney insists his client isn't a threat to anyone, nor is he a threat to flee.


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Normal Richard Mendoza, Jr. Gets 50 Years in Cold-Case Murder

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:43 am

3/5/2013

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Richard Mendoza, Jr. was sentenced to 50 years in prison and a $10,000 fine on February 11, 2013 after a jury convicted him of a murder he committed over 10 years ago. The 28-year-old Fresno man was charged with shooting Christopher Daigle to death in 2002 when both men were only 17.

According to Assistant District Attorney Lorretta Owen, Mendoza picked up Daigle on November 7, 2002 along with a 14-year-old friend and Mendoza’s 15-year-old cousin. He took them to a rural area near Missouri City supposedly to pick mushrooms. After exiting their truck, and when Daigle looked away from the defendant, he shot him in the back of the head with a shotgun. The friend and cousin ran back to the truck and the defendant followed. The next day, Mendoza took the two boys back out to the field and they dragged Daigle’s body from the open field where he was shot into an area with high grass and shrubs where he was less likely to be seen. With that, Christopher Daigle simply “disappeared.”

The Missouri City Police Department investigated numerous false leads over the next nine years – many of which were provided by the victim’s family grasping at any information they heard. In 2009, the police department received a statement from a friend of Daigle’s indicating that Mendoza and his cousin were the last people to be seen with the victim. They also received a statement from a friend of Mendoza’s stating the defendant had admitted to her a couple of months after Daigle’s disappearance that he, Mendoza, had shot and killed Daigle. On July 28, 2011, Missouri City detectives attempted to interview Mendoza’s friend, who was 14 at the time of the crime. The police had information that this friend had information pertinent to the investigation. The friend told the detectives that he had been present at the scene of the murder and led them to the field where the murder occurred. Detectives later interviewed Mendoza’s cousin who confirmed the friend’s information. The Missouri City Police Department and Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office searched the area and recovered two bones which were ultimately determined to match the familial DNA of Christopher Daigle.

“The victim’s family suffered nine long years not knowing what had happened to their loved one while the defendant enjoyed years of freedom he did not deserve,” said Owen, “but in the end, justice was finally served.”

Evidence was developed that prior to the murder, Mendoza was angry with Daigle because he believed Daigle was flirting with the defendant’s then 14-year-old girlfriend.

“We want to thank the jury for their diligence and careful attention, which lead to a just verdict for Christopher Daigle,” added prosecutor Sherry Robinson.

Mendoza was tried in the 400th District Court before Presiding Judge Clifford Vacek. Murder is a first-degree felony with a punishment range of 5-99 years or life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Under Texas law, Mendoza will serve half of his sentence before he can be considered for parole. He was eligible to receive probation.

Assistant District Attorneys Lorretta Owen and Sherry Robinson prosecuted the case. Attorneys Craig Hughes and Zachary Maloney represented the defendant.


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Normal Re: Murder Suspect Richard Mendoza Jr. To Be Freed Over Paperwork Error, In Fort Bend County Texas. Update: Gets 50 Years in Cold-Case Murder

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:49 am

:cheering: Thanks for the update, Nite!!

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