72056 Mendoza (Jorge) vs. State

Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 9:45 AM
Duration: 00:30:00 hour(s)

Location: Hyde Park Middle School

Details/Synopsis:

This case arises out of a conspiracy between five individuals to rob and burglarize a home of a marijuana dealer.  When the co-conspirators approached the target house and broke down the door, they were greeted by gunfire.  Appellant Jorge Mendoza fled backwards across the front yard, but was shot in the leg and dropped to the grass.  As he dragged himself from the yard, he looked back and saw two armed figures shooting from the doorway of the home.  He fired toward the door, and later admitted that he knew his shot hit someone.  His bullet struck and killed the roommate of the marijuana dealer.  Mendoza was subsequently charged with and convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon, home invasion while in possession of a deadly weapon, two counts of attempted robbery with use of a deadly weapon, murder with use of a deadly weapon, and attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon.  Mendoza was sentenced to life with a possibility of parole after 20 years for the murder charge, among concurrent sentences for the lesser crimes.  ISSUES:  On appeal, Mendoza argues the district court reversibly erred by: (1) denying a motion to exclude co-conspirator Summer Larsen as a witness due to the State’s untimely notice, (2) admitting Mendoza’s cellular telephone records, (3) disclosing co-conspirator Robert Figueroa’s unredacted plea agreement, and (4) refusing to instruct the jury on self-defense.  He further argues that cumulative error warrants reversal.