Paso Robles informant, who killed his dad in 2003, dies in prison

April 18, 2019

Martin Mendoza, pictured here with his attorney, Tom McCormick, as he awaits sentencing for the murder of his father, Benjamin Mendoza, Photo by Richard Bastian


Martin Mendoza, imprisoned since murdering his 67-year-old Paso Robes father in 2003, died  March 30 in Mule Creek State Prison’s hospital, family members said this week. [Cal Coast Times]

Mendoza had been suffering from an undisclosed illness, but was scheduled for release in June. He recently contacted family members in an attempt to secure what he called “his share” of his father’s estate.

Benjamin “Benji” Mendoza was a popular custom butcher in the North County. He was apparently shot once between the eyes with a 22-caliber weapon.

He had been headed to the grocery store when he disappeared. His abandoned pickup truck was discovered near Creston several days later. His body was eventually discovered in a shallow grave in a Monterey County Park. Martin hid his father’s wallet under the family home, where it was eventually discovered by police.

The Mendoza case was the subject of a cover story in New Times titled “Who Killed Dad?” in which Martin’s brother, David, suggested that he and other family members suspected that Martin was responsible for the killing.

Martin was a three-time loser who reportedly acted as a confidential informant for the Paso Robles Police Department and several Northern California law enforcement agencies which allowed him to escape a life sentence.

The New Times article told of conflicts between Martin and his father, who reportedly was upset over Martin’s friends who hung out at Benji’s house.

“According to David,” the article noted, “a Pine Street neighbor, Ed Ileff, told Paso Robles police in 2000 that before Benji vanished, Martin and the old man had one of their most violent conflicts. The fight started in the house, rolled out into the front yard, and continued as Martin allegedly dragged his father into the backyard by his neck. That was only hours before Benji disappeared.”

David said that Sheriff Ian Parkinson contacted family members asking about the disposition of Martin’s body.

According to David, more than $150,000 of his father’s money is currently in a local bank under Martin’s name.



Noodly Appendages

Unrelated to the article, but I gotta say, deputies need better fitness standards. Seriously, look at them in that picture.


32% of American men are considered obese, so no surprise. It does look, however, like the four men standing in this picture have hit the superfecta of obesity.

Russ J

No carbs will cure that. Cheese, eggs, meat, nuts and veggies. Get with it!


You have to remember, these guys retire at age 50 at 3% of their highest salary multiplied by the number of years they worked for the county. Starting salary is $90,000 these days. The rationale behind the early retirement was that by age 50 they were too old to do their jobs due to the hard work, physical demands, etc. Looks like this is yet another scam.

Russ J

The gifts that Wilson, Gray and Jerry provided us; unfunded pensions until we are long dead and gone. I’m sure the millennials will figure out a way to construct homes, office buildings, automobiles, tractors, all things that progress mankind, while they finance free S&$% that give societal loafers a way to live comfortably.


I remember Benji ….he always carried a big wad of cash….I was under the impression it was made to look like a field worker did the killing