Case # 09CF1034

Date May 19, 2017


*Defendant fled to Mexico for eight years before turning himself in at the border

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was sentenced today to life in state prison for the attempted murder of his neighbor in 2009. The defendant fled to Mexico for eight years before turning himself in.



Maximum Sentence

Jovanny Josue Mendez, 29, Orange

Found guilty by a jury on May 12, 2017, of the following felony counts:

  • Attempted murder
  • Assault with a firearm
  • Discharge of a firearm at occupied building
  • Possession of firearm by a felon

Sentencing Enhancements:

  • Attempted premeditated murder
  • Discharge of a firearm
  • Personal use of a firearm during the commission of an assault
  • Life in state prison indeterminate
  • 20 years in state prison determinate

Circumstances of the Case

  • Prior to March 2009, the defendant and the victim were involved in a physical altercation in their neighborhood.
  • On the evening of March 19, 2009, Mendez confronted the victim outside of a beauty salon in Orange.
  • The defendant brandished a handgun, pointed it at the victim, and the victim fled inside the salon.
  • Mendez fired approximately four shots at the victim, shattering the glass window of the salon before fleeing the scene. None of the bullets struck the victim.
  • The owner of the salon called 911 to report the shooting.
  • Orange Police Department (OPD) officers arrived to the scene and the victim was able to identify the shooter as his neighbor, Mendez.
  • OPD officers conducted an investigation and discovered that the defendant fled to Mexico with his then-girlfriend, Kendall Cripe.
  • On May 7, 2009, Cripe turned herself in and admitted to driving Mendez to Mexico after the shooting. On September 2, 2009, she pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact and was sentenced to three years of formal probation.
  • On October 13, 2016, Mendez turned himself him at the U.S.-Mexico border. An OPD officer arrested the defendant at the San Ysidro border patrol station.
  • Mendez’ victim died of brain cancer in November 2014 and was unable to testify at trial.

Prosecutor: Deputy District Attorney Michael Bardeen, Gangs/TARGET Unit.