Saturday, April 20, 2024

Jose Mendoza to be sentenced after pleading guilty to the death of his father-in-law Gaspar Vargas


Jose Ricardo Mendoza, who in April 2018 was accused of fatally stabbing his father-in-law Gaspar Vargas, was sent back to the Kolbe Foundation-Belize Central Prison after he pled guilty. He had reportedly been out on a $40,000 bail for the charge of manslaughter. But after he pled guilty on Wednesday, July 19, at his hearing in Belize City’s Supreme Court, he was remanded and will remain at the central prison until his sentencing.

L-R: Jose Ricardo Mendoza and Gaspar Vargas

The fatal stabbing happened on April 30, 2018, around 2PM at Vargas residence in the San Mateo subdivision, north of San Pedro Town. The police report stated that Vargas, a 57-year-old construction worker, received a large cut wound to his stomach. He had been socializing (drinking) with Mendoza minutes earlier when they started arguing about an old issue. The argument ended with Mendoza leaving. Afterward, Mendoza reportedly returned with a kitchen knife and inflicted the deadly stab on Vargas. Some family members nearby heard the commotion and assisted Vargas. They rushed the injured Vargas to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, where he was treated and prepared for airlift to Belize City. However, he remained in critical condition and later succumbed to his injury.

File Photo: Crime Scene

The Vargas family shared that Mendoza had previously attacked him and even threatened to kill his father-in-law. That incident was isolated and never reported to the police as no one thought Mendoza would attempt against Vargas’ life. When the incident happened, the devastated family said they were shocked and hurt.
The Vargas family is looking forward to getting justice and closing this unfortunate chapter of their lives. They will wait for the sentencing when it is handed down in Belize City.

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