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Latino Daily News

Tuesday November 22, 2011

Murder Suspect, Richard Mendoza Jr., Out of Jail After DA Mistake

Murder Suspect, Richard Mendoza Jr., Out of Jail After DA Mistake

Photo: Murder Suspect, Richard Mendoza, Free on Bond After DA Mistake

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

A mistake by the Texas district attorney’s office has resulted in the release (on bond) of a man suspected of committing a 2002 murder.

On November 7, 2002, Christopher Daigle went hunting with his friend, Richard Mendoza Jr, but when Mendoza thought Daigle was flirting with his girl friend, he allegedly shot him in the back of the head.

Though nine years ago, Daigle’s family is still awaiting closure. They were hoping Mendoza would spend the rest of his life in jail after DNA evidence linked him to the murder. However, due to the DA’s mistake, Mendoza was free to leave on bond on Monday.

When Mendoza was arrested and put in jail in August, after Daigle’s bones were finally recovered from a field in Arcola, TX, the DA had 90 days to get an indictment, but they failed to do so, meaning Mendoza was able to go, once his bond was posted.

District Attorney John Healey admitted that his office made a mistake, and said it takes full responsibility for what happened.

‘It is a mistake that shouldn’t have been made,’ Healy stated. ‘But it’s a long road between now and the time the defendant is going to be in front of 12 citizens of Fort Bend County, and we’re going to need that family, and they’re going to need us to work together as a team and try to facilitate justice…’

While Tracie Gregory, Daigle’s mother, may understand the need to work with the DA, she can’t help but be angry.

Gregory told My FOX Houston, ‘The DA forgot the date. I don’t understand how that can happen, if it was their child they wouldn’t have forgotten.’

Though Mendoza will be out on bail, he still faces a trial, which has been fast-tracked, and most involved believe he will still spend a number of years in jail, if not the rest of his life.

This DA mistake only disrupted the process and has kept the family from having a proper burial for Daigle, as his remains are evidence in the case against Mendoza.