NEWMAN (CBS13) – The man accused of fatally shooting Newman Police Corporal Ronil Singh during a traffic stop in December 2018 has been ordered by a judge to stand trial, the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office confirmed on Thursday.
The trial is scheduled to begin on September 1. The accused, Paulo Virgen Mendoza, potentially faces the death penalty on a charge of first-degree murder with enhancements.
The district attorney’s office said Judge Ricardo Córdova issued the ruling following a seven-day preliminary hearing in Stanislaus Superior Court.
Prosecutors said Mendoza shot Singh after being pulled over in the area of Merced Street and Eucalyptus Avenue on suspicion of a DUI just before 1 a.m. on Dec. 26, 2018.
Several others were indicted on federal charges of attempting to help Mendoza try to escape to Mexico following the shooting.
Conrado Virgen Mendoza and Erik Quiroz Razo were convicted by a grand jury last October of aiding and abetting.
Razo, 28, of Merced, was in the country illegally and had faced a maximum of five years in prison for aiding and abetting Mendoza. In January 2020, Razo was sentenced to 21 months in prison.
Authorities said Conrado Virgen Mendoza, 34, of Chowchilla, arranged for a smuggler to take his brother across the border, but he was found and arrested at a house two days after Singh’s killing.
Paolo Mendoza’s girlfriend, Ana Leydi Cervantes Sanchez, 31, was sentenced last year to a year and a day in prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to help her boyfriend’s attempted escape.
Another of Paolo Mendoza’s brothers, Adrian Virgen Mendoza, 26, previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year and nine months in prison.