HERMISTON?— Attorneys for Theodore “Teddy” Mendoza plan to argue self-defense during Mendoza’s trial for the Oct. 18 killing of Mario Calvillo Ramirez.

Mendoza and Kevin Melendez, both 17, were arrested Oct. 19 and charged with first-degree manslaughter after Ramirez, 27, died of injuries suffered during a nighttime beating in Umatilla. The state has since dismissed charges against Melendez, who may still be charged as a juvenile.

“Our information indicates the victim exited his vehicle with an aluminum baseball bat and attempted to thump on some teenagers … There are two sides to a story, and the state has not heard from the boys, from Mr. Mendoza’s side yet,”?defense attorney Craig Childress said Monday.

During Monday’s pre-trial, Childress also notified the judge of the defense’s request for background information, including juvenile records, of both Ramirez and Nick Garcilazo, identified as a friend of the victim.

“Some of the information we have received indicates that the victim and Nick Garcilazo were flashing gang signs and challenging the teenage boys,” Childress said. “We feel it is logical that all the information concerning the victim and Nick Garcilazo be included.”

A release hearing has been set to re-evaluate Mendoza’s bail amount. His bond remains at $150,000.

—Hermiston Herald

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