Two Kern County residents acquitted in murder of Newman Police Cpl. Ronil Singh

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FRESNO, Calif. (KGET) — A federal jury in Fresno has acquitted two Kern County residents in the death of Newman Police Cpl. Ronil Singh last year. 

U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced that 36-year-old Erasmo Villegas Suarez and 57-year-old Maria Luisa Moreno were acquitted on Monday by the U.S. District Court in Fresno in Singh’s murder but have been issued notices to appear at deportation proceedings.

 In addition, Suarez faces federal fraud charges involving identification documents. He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 21. 

The jury did find 34-year-old Conrado Virgen Mendoza and 28-year-old Erik Quiroz Razo, both illegal immigrants residing in the Valley, guilty of conspiring to aid and abet Paulo Virgen Mendoza by helping him escape from California to Mexico to avoid prosecution after killing Singh. 

Suarez and Moreno are also related to the Mendoza family, according to Scott.

Conrado Mendoza and Razo are set to be sentenced on Jan. 13, 2020, and each face a maximum penalty of five years in prison. 

Other people were also convicted of assisting Paulo Mendoza, including his girlfriend, 31-year-old Ana Leydi Cervantes Sanchez. She was sentenced on Monday to one year and one day in prison.

Mendoza’s brother, 26-year-old Adrian Virgen Mendoza, was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison. Moreno’s husband, 60-year-old Bernabe Madrigal Castaneda, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison.

According to court documents, Conrado and Quiroz helped Mendoza conceal his truck and drove him to various locations. Quiroz also allegedly disposed of Mendoza’s loaded firearm. Cervantes provided him with clothes and Madrigal gave him food and shelter.

Mendoza’s brother, Adrian, allegedly arranged for a smuggler to take Mendoza across the border and Adrian and Madrigal purchased a new cellphone for him to use to communicate with the smuggler.

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