Barbara Mendez trial update

Barbara MendezUPDATE April 30, 2019: Robin Mendez was found guilty.

Marathon County Circuit Judge Jill Falstad determined that Mendez did have a motive to kill his wife, explaining that he feared the discovery of his sexual abuse of then minor Jodi (Lesert) Rolloff.

Judge Falstad said that the “court finds the two inmates’ information credible.” The only explanation for them having those details was Robin Mendez himself.

Judge Falstad said that the “court finds Robin Mendez guilty of first-degree intentional homicide of Barbara Mendez.”


Husband Robin Mendez’ defense team is trying to show another man killed Barbara Mendez. You can read more about that here. Defending Robin isn’t easy.

The prosecutor then brought witness Sandy (Brandenburg) Jennings, who testified to having a short relationship with Robin Mendez which started the summer following Barbara Mendez’s murder and continued until Mendez’s arrest for child sexual abuse that following October.

Jennings stated that once, when dancing with Mendez while on a date, he said “how does it feel dancing with a murderer?”

Jennings also noted that she was not aware of Mendez’ simultaneous relationship with a 14-year-old girl while she was dating him.

Biggest hurdle for the Mendez team: jailhouse testimony backed up by Captain Terri Hook of the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department.

Hook explained that Mendez only had the written criminal complaint with him while in jail with these other inmates, and that the inmates gave specific details about Mendez and about the murder which were not detailed in the written complaint and not known to anyone involved in the case at that time.

Hook listed at least five specific details that the inmates knew about Mendez not in the complaint but later confirmed by authorities.”

Robin Mendez did not take the stand. Closing arguments took place April 24, 2019. Judge Jill Falstad’s verdict is expected soon after.

UPDATE: oral ruling expected April 30, 2019.

Case overview:

On April 28, 1982, Barbara Mendez (Feb 21, 1949 – April 28, 1982) was found bludgeoned to death inside the Park City Credit Union (Minocqua, Wisconsin).

Barbara’s case went cold but in 2018, husband Robin D. Mendez, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. The couple have two daughters, Dawn Mendez Shape and Christy Mendez Wadas.

Robin Mendez plead not guilty to his wife’s murder in April 2018 and said he has an alibi. He waived his jury trial and received a trial by judge. His jury trial started April 8, 2019.