Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
MAN CONVICTED OF STABBING AND MURDERING WIFE IN HUNTINGTON BEACH MOTEL
*Couple’s 17-year-old daughter discovered the victim’s body
SANTA ANA – A husband was convicted yesterday of murdering his estranged wife by stabbing her to death in a Huntington Beach motel room and leaving her body, which was found by their 17-year-old daughter. Fidelio Marin, 40, Huntington Beach, was found guilty by a jury March 30, 2011, of one felony count of second degree murder and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. He faces a maximum sentence of 16 years to life in state prison at his sentencing April 29, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-39, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
On the afternoon of Oct. 10, 2008, Marin called his wife, 32-year-old Felix Mendez, and asked her to meet him at the Starlight Motel on Beach Boulevard in Huntington Beach. The defendant had been staying in the motel because his wife had told him that she wanted a divorce.
The victim went to meet Marin at the motel with one of their four children, a 17-year-old daughter, and stayed with the defendant after their daughter had left. Once they were alone in the motel room, Marin murdered Mendez by repeatedly stabbing her in the neck and then left her body on the bathroom floor.
At approximately 4:00 p.m., after several failed attempts to reach her mother and father by phone, the victim’s 17-year-old daughter drove back to the motel to check on her mother. When the daughter was unable to open the motel room door, she opened the adjacent window and climbed into the motel room, where she discovered her dead mother in a pool of blood.
Mendez’ daughter called 911. At approximately 7:00 p.m., police officers located Marin on an Orange County Transit Authority bus in the Huntington Beach area.
During the trial, the defendant testified that he snapped and stabbed Mendez because she had emasculated him and told him that he wasn’t a man.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott Simmons of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.