A jury sentenced a man to 53 years in prison Thursday for the fatal shooting of an Odessa man who was killed more than three years ago.
Twenty-three-year-old Marko Angel Mendoza was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder for the killing of 32-year-old Ismael Rios Jr. in January 2015. He was sentenced to 53 years in prison and will be eligible for parole in half that time. He was additionally fined $10,000.
A probable cause affidavit stated Mendoza was a passenger in a Cadillac along with the driver, Manuel Garcia-Carbajal, and another man when Mendoza exited the vehicle, fired several shots at Rios, and got back into the vehicle before the three men left the scene.
Police were called about the shooting on a Sunday evening in January 2015 at the Third Edition Apartments, 2501 W. 10th St. After received a call about Garcia-Carbajal starting an argument with a woman, officers arrived they found the victim, Ismael Rios Jr., 32, with several gunshot wounds near the doorway of a residence. Rios was taken to Medical Center Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Garcia-Carbajal’s common-law wife told police he had left their apartment with two friends before the shooting, the report stated, and that she saw one of his friends with a gun get back in the vehicle before they drove off.
Police later found Mendoza using the registered information of the Cadillac and charged him with murder.
District Attorney Bobby Bland would not go into detail on Garcia-Carbajal’s case, but said he has not been indicted on the charge of murder. Court records show Garcia-Carbajal was convicted of two counts of endangering a child, a state jail felony, and evading arrest, a third-degree felony, and sentenced to five years in prison in April of 2016.
Mendoza was convicted in the 161st District Court of Judge John Smith. He was represented by Lawrence Barber, and Assistant District Attorneys Melissa Williams and Lisa Borden prosecuted the case.