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Suspect in Newman Police Corporal Killing Case Receives Life Sentence

Carlos Rodriguez

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MODESTO – Paulo Virgen Mendoza, also known as Gustavo Perez Arriaga, pleaded guilty Thursday to the shooting death of Newman Police Corporal Ronil Singh.

Mendoza was captured after the December 26th, 2018 shooting of Corporal Singh and fleeing south. A relentless search by authorities led to his arrest three days later at a home near Bakersfield. Three other people were arrested in the case for aiding Mendoza. Authorities said he had entered the country illegally, and had two prior DUI arrests in the Madera/Chowchilla area.

The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office said Mendoza entered the guilty plea, admitting to three special circumstances. Those circumstances included committing the murder in an attempt to evade arrest, killing a police officer in the performance of his duties, and discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle with the intent to inflict death.

Mendoza also admitted to acting intentionally, deliberately and with premeditation, as well as intentionally discharging a firearm causing death. Both were enhancements to his charges.

As part of his plea deal, Mendoza waived his right to appeal the decision. In exchange, the District Attorney’s Office agreed to stop seeking the death penalty. Mendoza agreed to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Mendoza was sentenced by Judge Ricardo Cordova and remanded for transportation to state prison.

Corporal Singh left behind a wife and infant son of five months at the time of the shooting.

“He came to America to become a police officer,” said Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson during a press conference on December 27th, 2018.

“You have to understand, this was not supposed to happen here.”

Corporal Singh, a K-9 officer with his partner Sam, was a native of Fiji and was deeply loved and respected by his peers and community.

“Please remember the man, please remember what he came to this country to do,” said Richardson. “Yes he was a police officer, but more importantly he was a human being.”

Click below to view original video from the case.

Carlos Rodriguez is an Emmy Award winning photojournalist specializing in public safety and natural disasters. His passion for local news stems from a deep commitment to his community, with a selfless mission to inform the citizens of the valley. As he worked on assignment for 19 days at the devastating Camp Fire in Paradise, California, he spent most of his time helping survivors contact their loved ones to let them know they were ok. Carlos is a veteran of Univision, FOX, and Telemundo TV stations and a native of Modesto, California.

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Two Arrested in Child’s Death

Carlos Rodriguez

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TRACY – Police arrested two individuals Saturday in connection to the death of a child.

Police were called on Monday November 16th for a report of a child not breathing on the 3800 block of West Grantline Road. Emergency crews arrived at an apartment and found an unresponsive four year old child.

The child was rushed to a hospital by ambulance but later died.

Police arrested the child’s mother and stepfather Saturday afternoon in connection to the child’s death. They were identified as 24 year old Camila Pizarro-Vergara and 25 year old Oscar Muñoz.

Both individuals were booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on charges of homicide and great bodily injury to a child under eight years old.

Police are asking anyone with information regarding this case to contact Detective Jarrod Jesser at (209) 831-6640.

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Robbery Reported at Stockton Gas Station

Gaby Muro

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STOCKTON – Police investigated a report of a robbery at a gas station Friday night.

At about 10:20pm officers responded to US Gasoline on the 700 block of East Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard for a report of a robbery.

The suspects fled prior to officers arriving. No releasable suspect information was available at time of publication. No injuries were reported.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Update: South Modesto Homicide Victim Identified

Gaby Muro

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MODESTO – Authorities have identified a man killed in a shooting that happened on Sunday in broad daylight.

Eric Rogelio, 27, was found in his car after being shot multiple times on Amador Avenue near Spokane Avenue Sunday afternoon. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Police responded to several reports of gunfire heard in the area where Rogelio was found on Sunday shortly before noon. Both police officers and sheriff deputies responded to the area and found the victim in the driver’s seat of a car suffering from multiple gun shot wounds. The car was stopped in the middle of the road.

Detectives believe there were multiple witnesses to the shooting, and the moments that led up to the incident.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Detective Ra Pouv at (209) 572-9826, or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

Watch video from the scene below. (Originally broadcasted live on Sunday November 15th, 2020.)

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