Juan Jose Hernandez Mendoza was sentenced Wednesday by a Napa County judge for killing Manuel Reyes, a guard at the Veterans Home of California in Yountville in August 2003.
Prosecutors say Hernandez Mendoza stabbed the 58-year-old Reyes in his car. After the car crashed, Reyes was found dead on the side of the road.
DNA from the scene identified Hernandez Mendoza as a suspect, but he eluded authorities for years until he was arrested for molesting a child in Oregon—a crime for which he is serving nearly 15 years.
Because the 31-year-old Hernandez Mendoza will have to serve the sentences concurrently, he won’t be eligible for parole for nearly 41 years.
Man pleads not guilty in security guard murder http://www.privateofficer.com
A 29-year-old man pleaded not guilty in Napa County Superior Court Tuesday morning to murdering a security guard at the California Veterans Home in Yountville in 2003.
A preliminary hearing date for Juan Jose Hernandez Mendoza was set for May 26, Assistant Napa County District Attorney John Goold said.
Mendoza was in an Oregon jail under an assumed name awaiting prosecution for sex offenses when he was arrested in March for the murder of 58-year-old Manuel Reyes, the Napa County Sheriff’s Department said.
He had been identified as a suspect within two weeks of Reyes’ murder on Aug. 4, 2003.
Reyes was on duty and working overtime at the veteran’s home on the night of Aug. 3, 2003 when he was asked to act as a translator between Mendoza and a cab driver. The cab driver had picked up Mendoza in Napa around 11:30 p.m. that night, according to the sheriff’s department.
Reyes instead offered to drive Mendoza to his destination, a labor camp north of Yountville. His security car was found crashed into a tree on Dry Creek Road near Mount Veeder Road early the next morning. Reyes had been stabbed multiple times and was found near his vehicle, the sheriff’s department said.
Mendoza is being held in the Napa County jail under no bail.