Mendoza convicted in baby’s 2011 death [UPDATED]Published 11:06am Wednesday, September 26, 2012 Updated 11:30am Wednesday, September 26, 2012
The Pelican Rapids man who reportedly killed a baby or let it die under his care was convicted of second degree manslaughter Tuesday.
Pedro Larios Mendoza, 31, pled guilty to the charge to avoid more serious convictions for second degree murder and first degree manslaughter. He must pay more than $8,000 in restitution and was sentenced to at least three years and two months in prison, though he’s already spent close to a year in jail. Once his prison sentence is complete, Mendoza, an illegal immigrant, will be deported to Guatemala.
According to court records, Mendoza was home alone with the 5-month-old son of his girlfriend on Nov. 18, 2011. At some point that night, he walked to the West Central Turkey plant, where his girlfriend worked, and told her that the baby had fallen off the bed and was not breathing.
The child was found unresponsive and died the next day. Records state that inconsistent information from Mendoza and autopsy reports suggest that Mendoza may have shaken the baby and intentionally fractured his skull.
According to a report from someone inside the courtroom, Mendoza reportedly claimed during the sentencing that he was pleading guilty to get the court case over with, not because he killed the baby.