Preliminary hearing Feb. 23 in Mendez murder case
Minocqua man accused of killing wife in April 1982
BY KEVIN BONESKE
A preliminary hearing has been set for Feb. 23 in Oneida County Circuit Court for a 69-year-old Minocqua man accused of murdering his wife more than 35 years ago.
Robin D. Mendez, who remains in custody on a $250,000 cash bond, appeared in court Thursday with his attorney, Peter J. Prusinski, for an adjourned initial appearance before Forest County Judge Leon D. Stenz, who has been assigned to the case after Oneida County Judge Patrick F. O’Melia recused himself following the Feb. 6 initial appearance.
Prusinski, who did not object to the bond as set by O’Melia, informed Stenz that Mendez would be maintaining his right to be silent while in custody and asked that his client not be subjected to interviews about the case. Oneida County district attorney Michael W. Schiek informed Stenz that there were no plans to interview Mendez.
Mendez has been charged with first-degree murder in the April 28, 1982, death of his wife, Barbara, and could face life in prison if convicted. His wife was found dead at the Park City Credit Union building, which was then located on the corner of County J and US 51 in Minocqua. A co-worker who was asked by Robin Mendez to check on his wife found her body.
According to the criminal complaint, an autopsy report concluded Barbara Mendez died of “multiple blunt injuries, abrasions and lacerations of head, with extensive skull fractures.”
The weapon used was unknown, but believed to be a blunt instrument with a “long striking surface…strong suggestion of an angle in an instrument.”
After Robin Mendez’s arrest Feb. 5, the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office announced that it had spent the past several months re-interviewing every witness it could locate and compiled a report for Schiek, who stated the evidence obtained at this time supported an arrest.
The sheriff’s office also announced that at the request of the Mendez daughters, Christy and Dawn, the office contacted the television program “Cold Justice” to assist in the investigation with a “Cold Justice Team” being in the area at the end of last month.
Robin Mendez has been ordered to have no contact with his deceased wife’s family, including daughters Christy and Dawn.