Father doesn’t dispute daughter’s drowning in church in 2016
HEALDSBURG, Calif. (AP) – A northern California man has not challenged charges of intentional homicide in the 2016 drowning of his 4-year-old daughter in the baptismal pool at a Catholic church, authorities said .
Gerardo Mendoza, 47, had been smoking methamphetamine for three days and began to believe his two youngest children were “attacked by evil” when he took them to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in the small town. California wine town of Healdsburg on November 11. 20, 2016, authorities said.
Mendoza, who pleaded Wednesday, wanted to find a priest. But after he couldn’t find any, he led his daughter Maria and 9-year-old son into a cross-shaped baptismal pool at least 30 centimeters deep, court documents say, the press democrat reported.
He then carried the girl’s body to a nearby police station and stood naked in the rear parking lot of the station shouting “help” and “police” in Spanish as he held his fully clothed and drenched daughter. , the authorities said. His 9 year old son was standing next to him in shorts.
The child was taken to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Facing a 25-year life sentence if convicted of his daughter’s drowning, Mendoza has argued without question of intentional homicide. A plea of ââno contest is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such in sentencing.
Mendoza, a day laborer and farm worker, had moved with his family from Sacramento to Healdsburg to work about six months before the murder.
The plea deal means Mendoza faces an 11-year prison sentence. The penalty is set for October 15.