Marbel Mendoza was sentenced to death by the State of Florida for a robbery murder. According to court documents Marbel Mendoza and an accomplice would attempt to rob the victim and during the process would stab the man, Conrad Calderon, to death. Marbel Mendoza would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
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Appellant asked Humberto Cuellar to participate in robbing Conrado Calderon. who owned a mini-market. Humberto asked his brother, Lazaro Cuellar, to act as the getaway driver. The three men observed Calderon’s morning routine at his house in Hialeah. Then, before dawn on the morning of March 17, 1992, the three drove to Calderon’s house where they stopped and waited. When Calderon appeared at his front door at 5:40 a.m., Humberto and appellant hid behind a hedge. Appellant carried a .38 caliber revolver, and Humberto carried a 9 mm automatic pistol. As Calderon left his house and approached his Ford Bronco, Humberto and appellant approached Calderon from the rear and held him in Calderon’s driveway between his Ford and Cadillac automobiles. During the ensuing struggle, Humberto used his gun to hit Calderon on the head. Calderon took out a .38 special revolver and shot Humberto in the chest. The injured Humberto ran to Lazaro’s car. As he ran, Humberto heard other shots. Less than a minute later, appellant arrived at Lazaro’s car and told Humberto that appellant had shot Calderon. No money was taken. The three drove to a hospital in Hialeah. On the way, appellant told Humberto to say that Humberto had been shot by someone who had robbed him.
At the hospital, police recovered Lazaro’s car containing Humberto’s 9 mm automatic pistol. The pistol was still fully loaded and had hair embedded in the slide, which was consistent with the gun having been used to hit someone on the head. The same day, Humberto was taken to the Hialeah Police Station, where he gave a sworn statement that matched his later testimony for the State. When appellant was arrested on March 24,1992, he had shaved his head and moved out of his normal residence. Items recovered from the scene included a bank bag, which was under the victim and contained $2,089, and other cash which was in Calderon’s pockets and wallet. Appellant’s fingerprints were found on Calderon’s Cadillac, adjacent to where Calderon’s body was found. Calderon’s gun was found under his body. Casings and bullets were recovered from the scene and from the victim’s body. An x-ray of Humberto showed that the bullet lodged near his spine was consistent with Calderon’s .38 special. Three of the four .38 caliber shots that hit Calderon were fired from point-blank range, and the last was fired from less than six inches away.
Lazaro Cuellar pled guilty to manslaughter, conspiracy, and attempted armed robbery and was sentenced to ten years in state prison. He did not testify at appellant’s trial. Humberto Cuellar pled guilty to second-degree murder,
conspiracy, attempted armed robbery, burglary, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He was sentenced to twenty years in state prison. Humberto testified as an eyewitness for the State at appellant’s trial.