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Man pleads in fatal beating of another man in Joplin

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) _ A man accused of beating a man to death with a board was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

The Joplin Globe reports 32-year-old Leonardo Mendoza accepted a plea agreement Monday in the death of 20-year-old Mascidono Lopez in Joplin.

The defendant, victim and two other Mexican nationals were living together while working at a Joplin restaurant when Lopez was killed.

Prosecutor Theresa Kenney said the four men were drinking together, contributing to a fatal fight between Lopez and Mendoza.

Mendoza and another worker, 17-year-old Adan Bautista, initially told police they were assaulted by two black men at the home. Bautista later acknowledged that he witnessed Mendoza bludgeon Lopez to death.

Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe