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Minocqua man gets life in cold-case murder

in Sirens

By Shereen Siewert

RHINELANDER, Wis. — A Minocqua man found guilty of first-degree intentional homicide in connection with the death of his wife will spend life in prison without the possibility of release.

Robin Mendez was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for the 1982 killing of his wife, Barbara, at Park City Credit Union where she worked.

Mendez, 70, was found guilty in April in Oneida County Court Circuit by Judge Jill Falstad, the Marathon County judge who presided over the seven-day bench trial. Mendez opted for the bench trial instead of facing a 12-person jury. Falstad was assigned to the case when Mendez requested a replacement judge to oversee the case.

Robin Mendez was arrested in February 2018, suspected of killing Barbara Mendez, who was 32 years old when she was found dead inside Park City Credit Union in Minocqua. The April 28, 1982 murder remained unsolved for decades, but sheriff’s officials meticulously continued to work the case until an arrest could be made.

In the months before his arrest Sheriff’s officials and Minocqua Police spent countless hours going over all available information, including witness statements, before putting the information together into one comprehensive report for Oneida County District Attorney Michael Schiek. Investigators say they re-interviewed every witness they could locate.

Prosecutors alleged that the time of Barbara’s death, Robin Mendez was having a sexual relationship with 14-year-old girl. A former coworker told investigators Barbara Mendez believed something inappropriate had been going on, and planned to talk to Robin about their marriage. The next day Barbara Mendez was found dead.

Robin Mendez has a criminal history that includes a 2002 conviction for first degree sexual assault of a child and invasion of privacy, according to online court documents.

Mendez was given 534 days credit for time served while awaiting trial.

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