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