STANISLAUS COUNTY (CBS13) — Paulo Virgen Mendoza, the man accused of fatally shooting Newman Police Corporal Ronil Singh during a traffic stop in December 2018, has taken a plea deal.
Mendoza, 34, was in Stanislaus County Court on court on Thursday to enter a guilty plea. He also gave a statement that gave a rundown of the events that led to Singh’s killing as well as Mendoza’s flight from justice.
Prosecutors had said Mendoza shot Singh after being pulled over in the area of Merced Street and Eucalyptus Avenue on suspicion of a DUI just before 1 a.m. on Dec. 26, 2018. Mendoza allegedly arraigned to be smuggled across the border into Mexico, but he was arrested several days after the shooting.
Several of Mendoza’s family and acquaintances were later indicted on federal charges of attempting to help Mendoza try to escape.
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Mendoza was facing the death penalty if convicted. However, the plea deal means that he will instead face a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Several officers also spoke at Mendoza’s hearing on Thursday, sharing their thoughts and memories about Officer Singh.