Moises Mendoza was sentenced to death by the State of Texas for a murder. According to court documents Moises Mendoza would fatally strangle a woman, kept her body in his backyard until questioned by police and then would transport the body to a remote location where it was set on fire. Moises Mendoza would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death. Forensic Files: Wood-be Killer
Moises Mendoza 2021 Information
|Mendoza, Moises S.
|Date of Birth
|Age (when Received)
|Education Level (Highest Grade Completed)
|Date of Offense
|Age (at the time of Offense)
|Height (in Feet and Inches)
|Weight (in Pounds)
Moises Mendoza More News
Mendoza was convicted and sentenced to death for the capital murder of Rachel Tolleson, who was killed during the course of an attempted burglary, kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault. Based on the jury’s answers to the special issues set forth in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 37.071, the trial court sentenced Mendoza to death on June 29, 2005
Sometime after 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17, 2004, Rachelle Tolleson and her mother Pam O’Neil went to the store to purchase formula and diapers for Tolleson’s five-month-old daughter, Avery. Tolleson and Avery visited at the O’Neil home for a short time after returning from the store, but Tolleson did not feel well, had taken medication for a sinus headache, and wanted to be in her own home. Around 10:00 p.m., Tolleson phoned the O’Neils to let them know that she and Avery had arrived home.Around the same time that evening, Efren Gamez, [Mendoza], and several friends were having a party. Gamez, [Mendoza], and two young women had purchased two thirty-packs of beer and two forty-ounce cans of beer earlier in the evening.At some point, the women left the party and later called to let Gamez and [Mendoza] know that they were not returning. [Mendoza] became angry, and as he drank more beer, he became more belligerent. Eventually, [Mendoza] said something to two other girls at the party that scared them. [Mendoza] told Gamez that he spoke to the girls in that manner because he could. [Mendoza] left the party and returned several times, finally leaving for the last time between midnight and 1:00 a.m.The following morning, O’Neil went to Tolleson’s home as she often did. Although her car was parked in the driveway, Tolleson was not there. A note from the landlord was taped to the screen door, but the wooden back door stood wide open. O’Neil entered the house and noticed that a pillow had been left on the floor between the kitchen and the bedroom. The bedroom was a mess. Papers were strewn across the floor, the night stand was pulled away from the wall, the mattress and box spring were askew, and the headboard was broken and lying against the bed. Avery was on the bed, cold, wet, and alone in the house.Alarmed, O’Neil collected Avery and called her husband, who contacted the police. Officer Scott Collins of the Farmersville Police Department responded. Collins confirmed O’Neil’s description of the bedroom—things were thrown everywhere and furniture was out of place. To Collins, it looked as though there had been a fight, or a tornado, in the bedroom. The rest of the house was orderly, and there were no signs of a forced entry.Farmersville police began interviewing potential witnesses that day. They learned that, on the Friday before her disappearance, Tolleson hosted a party for about fifteen people, including [Mendoza]. During the party, Tolleson spoke with [Mendoza] a few times but told her best friend Megan Kennedy that she wasn’t interested in [Mendoza] in that way.Police also learned that, on the Saturday before Tolleson’s disappearance, Kennedy’s boyfriend Tim Holland returned to Tolleson’s home with [Mendoza] and Cody Wiltbanks to retrieve his musical instruments, but Tolleson wasn’t home, and the doors were locked. While Holland and Wiltbanks went around the house looking for a way in, appellant managed to open the locked back door. After learning this, Collins interviewed [Mendoza], who told Collins that he had last seen Tolleson at the party. Collins noted that [Mendoza] could not sit still and seemed very nervous.Search parties were organized to look for Tolleson but were unsuccessful. Six days after Tolleson disappeared, James Powell was hunting for arrowheads near Brushy Creek, east of Farmersville. Walking along the creek, he came across a body that had been burned and was lying face down. Through the use of dental records, the body was eventually identified as Tolleson’s.Jerry Farmer, an FBI evidence technician who was one of the first on the scene, noted that tall vegetation had been piled on top of Tolleson’s body in an attempt to cover it. Her body was badly burned and had begun to decompose. Fly eggs and maggot activity around her head and neck indicated that she had been there for at least two days. Her skin was charred black in places and seared yellow in others where her flesh had split apart. Most of her hair had been burned away. Scraps of burned clothing clung to her upper torso, but no clothing was found below her waist.An orange rope was tied around Tolleson’s right ankle, and two grommets from a tarp were lying on the back of her left leg and head. Burnt pieces of tarp and skin were found on a path leading to Tolleson’s body, indicating that she had been dragged or carried to that spot. A short distance from where the body was discovered, steps led to a dugout under a tall tree where investigators found evidence that something had been burned. Evidence technicians found ashes, firewood, a clump of hair, pieces of tarp and skin, and orange rope like that found tied around Tolleson’s ankle.Dr. William Rohr, the medical examiner, testified that Tolleson had sustained a five-inch diameter bruise on her left knee, a smaller bruise on the front of her left thigh, bruises on either side of her tongue, a large amount of hemorrhage deep in her left shoulder, and several bruises on her scalp ranging in diameter from three quarters of an inch to three inches. A deep wound, consistent with injury from a knife, penetrated her neck all the way to her spinal column, and her body had been burned post-mortem. Rohr determined that Tolleson’s death was consistent with strangulation or another form of asphyxiation.After further interviews with potential witnesses, police obtained an arrest warrant for [Mendoza]. Once in custody, [Mendoza] told police that, late Wednesday evening, he had driven by Tolleson’s house and had seen a light on. He backed his truck into the driveway and let himself into the house through the back door without knocking. According to [Mendoza], Tolleson left with him to get a pack of cigarettes. [Mendoza] drove for a little and then for no reason started to choke Tolleson. Tolleson passed out, and [Mendoza] drove to a field behind his home, where he had sexual intercourse with Tolleson and choked her again. [Mendoza] then dragged Tolleson out of the truck and into the field, where he choked her until he thought she was dead. To make sure, he poked her throat with a knife. [Mendoza] left Tolleson’s body in the field until Monday, after he was first interviewed by police. Scared that Tolleson’s body would be found and tied to him, [Mendoza] moved the body to a remote area and burned it, ultimately dragging it to where it was found.