Convicted killer in double shooting in Goliad has died by suicide
By James Muñoz - 25 News Now,2023-05-21
GOLIAD, Texas - Inmate Daniel Mendoza, TDCJ #2344969, is dead at age 22. On May 11, 2023, around 6:24 a.m. Mendoza was found unresponsive in his cell. Staff members began life-saving measures and called 911. Unit medical staff arrived and assisted with trying to save Mendoza. He was taken on a gurney to the medical unit. EMS arrived and contacted the Justice of the Peace who pronounced Mendoza dead at 7:16 a.m. The Office of Inspector General was notified.
Mendoza arrived to prison on May 12, 2021, to serve a life sentence for murder out of Goliad County and a 20-year sentence for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon also out of Goliad County. All inmate in custody deaths are investigated.
In June of 2019 the Goliad County Sheriff’s office got a call to the 100 block of South Mt. Auburn near West Franklin just before midnight. It was a Thursday night when they discovered a man dead in a car parked in front of a home. A woman was found shot and taken to a hospital in San Antonio. An infant baby boy in the back seat was not physically hurt. The victims were seated in the car when the shooting took place. The murdered victim was identified as Nathan Cortinas, 19. Briana Bexley, 18, was critically hurt with one gunshot wound. Cortinas was shot seven times. The infant was son to Cortinas and Bexley is the child's mother. The victim's were shot at close range.
In March of 2021 a Goliad County jury found Daniel Mendoza guilty in the murder Cortinas and guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and child endangerment. The jury deliberated for less than 15 minutes that Tuesday morning. Mendoza was 18 at the time of the double shooting.
The state called on four witnesses to testify at trial including star witness and survivor Bexley and the lead investigator. Prosecutors said the shooting happened due to 'bad blood' between Mendoza and Cortinas. Mendoza ran from the murder scene but was arrested around 5 a.m. that Friday morning at a convenience store.
Mendoza was sentenced to life in prison. Authorities found rap lyrics on a legal pad belonging to Mendoza that described the shooting that claimed the life of Cortinas.
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