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Thread: Daughters who turned in dad for mom's (Barbara Mendez, 33) 1982 murder in Minocqua see him get life sentence

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    Daughters who turned in dad for mom's (Barbara Mendez, 33) 1982 murder in Minocqua see him get life sentence


    RHINELANDER - More than 37 years after Barbara Mendez was found brutally murdered at the credit union where she worked, her family watched her husband get sentenced to life in prison.

    Robin D. Mendez, 70, of Minocqua, shook his head "no" Tuesday in Oneida County Circuit Court when Marathon County Circuit Judge Jill Falstad asked him if he had anything to say. Falstad, who was a substitute judge in the case, previously found him guilty of murder in a trial by judge.

    Dawn Shape, formerly Dawn Mendez, who was 13 when her mother was murdered, was not in the courtroom but called in to make a statement to the judge. Shape simply read Psalm 23 from the bible to the court.

    "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want," Shape recited.

    Shape's statement was eloquent, and it is clear her faith has given her the hope and strength to endure, Falstad said.

    Shape and her younger sister, who was 11 at the time, suffered greatly from their father's actions, the judge said.

    Mendez manipulated his daughters into providing him with an alibi for the time of their mother's death, Falstad said. He instilled a fear of the police in them, and he kept his daughters from seeing their mother's side of the family after her death.

    He beat Barbara Mendez to death one night in the spring of 1982 inside Park City Credit Union along U.S. 51 in Minocqua. Prosecutors later said the murder might have been an effort to cover up sex crimes after his wife found out he'd been with a 14-year-old girl. He was long considered a suspect but not arrested until after his two daughters approached police about 17 years ago with the belief their father had killed their mother. Investigators then spent years building a case against him.

    Barbara and Robin Mendez's younger daughter was in the courtroom Tuesday but preferred to have her husband speak for her. The slaying has been like a rock thrown into water, said his son-in-law, who was not named in court documents. The ripples have spread out and affected the entire family, he said.

    Each time there is a special occasion, Barbara Mendez isn't there, he said. The couple's daughter never got the chance to know her grandmother, but she knows courts and police because of the investigation into the murder. The girl knows her grandfather is a "bad man," the son-in-law said.

    On April 28, 1982, Robin Mendez saw an opportunity and took it, Falstad said. He went to the Minocqua credit union where Barbara Mendez worked and brought a concealed blunt object to use as a weapon. He viciously beat his wife in the head, and she never saw it coming, the judge said. He then stole money to disguise the crime as a robbery.

    The day after the murder, Mendez had sex with a 14-year-old girl he had already been molesting. He eventually was convicted of the sexual assault. He later sexually assaulted a 5-year-old girl and was caught peeping at her in the bathroom through a hole he put in the floorboards, Falstad said.

    Oneida County District Attorney Michael Schiek said a pre-sentence investigation report recommended Robin Mendez never be eligible for parole. His son-in-law and Barbara Mendez's two sisters who spoke also asked that Robin Mendez not be given parole.

    Barbara Mendez's parents had to bury their daughter, said one of her sisters. They walked into the funeral to find a closed casket, she said, and it was difficult for them to not see her face or to find her killer brought to justice.

    The law at the time calls for a mandatory life sentence but allows the defendant to go before a parole board after 20 years, Schiek said. The sentence must comply by that law, the prosecutor said, so Mendez can petition for parole when he's about 90.

    Falstad ordered Mendez not to have contact with his younger daughter. Shape said she wanted the opportunity to have some contact with her father in the future.

  2. #2
    Senior Member curiouscat's Avatar
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    Kevan, we need to write a letter to the prisoners of wherever he winds up so they know about this child pedophile.
    They'll bring your imagination to life!
    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    "he had Skittles so he could have made drugs".
    Quote Originally Posted by daisylane View Post
    Yo mama such a ho, that Foursquare has made her vag a place to "check in".

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