Man charged with murder in Joplin death

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JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) _ A Joplin man is charged with first-degree murder in the beating death of his roommate.

The Jasper County prosecutor on Tuesday charged 29-year-old Leonardo Mendoza after one of his roommates was found dead Sunday. The victim’s name has not been released because of problems notifying his relatives.

Police Capt. Matt Stewart said the victim was bludgeoned to death.

The Joplin Globe reports  the investigation has been complicated by uncertainty over whether police were given the correct names of the victim, the suspect and a third roommate who apparently witnessed the slaying.

All three roommates were working at a Joplin restaurant. Police say the men have not been able to produce documents to show they are in the country legally.

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