The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 7, 2012

Carthage man charged with killing man with machete


From staff reports

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Juan Mendoza, the suspect arrested in the slaying of 43-year-old Mario Gonzalez on the banks of the Spring River north of Carthage, has been charged with second-degree murder.

Carthage police arrested Mendoza, 45, on Friday in the death of Gonzalez, whose body was discovered the morning of April 25 near a camp by the river. A probable-cause affidavit that became available Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court alleges that Mendoza killed Gonzalez by cutting his throat with a machete.

The affidavit states that an autopsy found that the victim suffered three blows to the neck from a machete recovered at the scene and that Mendoza acknowledged to investigators that the machete belonged to him. The autopsy found no defensive wounds on the victim, according to the affidavit.