Calif. man convicted in attack on officer faces life

Jesse Mendez was found guilty of attempting to murder Officer Kevin McDonald

Henry K. Lee
San Francisco Chronicle

OAKLAND, Calif. — A San Lorenzo man faces up to life in prison after being convicted of trying to murder an Oakland police motorcycle officer, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Jesse Mendez, 28, was found guilty Monday by an Alameda County jury of attempted murder of a police officer, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and shooting from a vehicle in the shooting nearly three years ago that wounded Officer Kevin McDonald.

Mendez faces a maximum of life in prison with the possibility of parole when he is sentenced March 29 by Superior Court Judge Vernon Nakahara.

Mendez fired four shots at McDonald on May 19, 2007, after he and his cousin Jeremiah Dye were pulled over in a Chevrolet Camaro for running a stop sign on MacArthur Boulevard near Parker Avenue in East Oakland, prosecutors said.

McDonald was shot in the hand and chest but escaped major injury because he was wearing his bullet-resistant vest. The 20-year veteran remains on the force.

Mendez and Dye fled, but Officer Robert Roche shot and killed Dye several hours later as the suspect hid beneath a house on the 2600 block of Parker Avenue, police said. Roche thought Dye was armed, but he was not, authorities said.

Mendez gave up 10 days later at a home in Sacramento. He has previous convictions for theft and possession for sale of a controlled substance.

At trial, Mendez's attorney suggested that Dye could have been the person who shot McDonald, said prosecutor Autrey James.

Copyright 2010 San Francisco Chronicle

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