Man guilty of murder in Odessa

An Ector County jury convicted an Odessa man of murder in the May 2022 death of his girlfriend Thursday and sentenced him to life in prison.

Forty-eight-year-old Jose Sarinana, whose trial was held before Ector County District Judge Denn Whalen, will be eligible for parole in 30 years.

According to an Odessa Police Department report, a resident in the 4600 block of Garden Lane called authorities May 16, 2022, to report he’d found a bloody knife wrapped up in bloody clothing inside a backpack left next to the gate of his backyard. A short time later, officers received a call about an injured woman at the Parkway Inn on East Highway 80.

When officers arrived, they found Lamesa resident Cynthia Ann Mendoza dead of multiple stab wounds. When authorities watched surveillance videos from the motel, they saw and heard Mendoza and a man arguing outside and then inside a motel room at 3:52 a.m. At 4:02 a.m., the man left the motel room with a backpack, the report stated.

Fingerprints lifted from Mendoza’s vehicle came back to Sarinana and officers determined his picture matched the man in the surveillance video, according to the report. Mendoza’s family also told authorities she was dating a man named Jose.

When searching the motel room, authorities also found a bank card belonging to Sarinana, the report stated.

Phillip Wildman represented Sarinana, who was prosecuted by Kortney Williams and Jessica Gorman.