Thursday, March 21, 2013
A jury turned in a guilty verdict last week for a man involved in a 2011 murder. Judge Stephanie McDonald sentenced the suspect, Ricardo Mendoza, to 20 years, according to Ninth Judicial Circuit Deputy Solicitor Bryan Alfaro.
The jury found Mendoza guilty of voluntary manslaughter, according to Alfaro.
The victim was Omar Rodriguez, also known as Juan Velazquez, according to a police statement from that time.
Moncks Corner Police Department officers responded to shots fired shortly after 9 p.m. on May 21, 2011 in Park City Mobile Home Park, located on Fairground Road near U.S. 52 in Moncks Corner. Investigators were able to locate several witnesses who provided information leading to the identification of Mendoza as the person who shot Rodriguez and fled the scene in a black Jeep Cherokee, according to police.
According to Alfaro, the defendant and victim had exchanged words at a party earlier that day.
Later that evening the victim was sitting in his car listening to music when the defendant walked up, pulled a .380 pistol from behind his back and shot into car five times, according to Alfaro.
The victim was hit in the left arm and left side of the chest. The other three bullets were recovered from driver’s side door. The victim tried to drive off after being shot but hit a retaining wall in back of trailer park. His car rolled backward and stopped against a trailer.
The victim was already deceased when police and EMS arrived. Assistant Solicitor Ashley Cornwell was the lead prosecutor in the case.
Staff Writer Jim Tatum contributed to this report.