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Man Convicted In 2020 Murder Of Lisandro Mendez, 18, During Modesto Home Burglary

MODESTO (CBS13) -- A Modesto man was convicted of murder for a 2020 home burglary that led to the fatal shooting of a teenager, the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office said Monday.

Darren Joseph Womack, 25, was also convicted of residential burglary with enhancements for the personal use of a gun.

On the night of December 14, 2020, Lisandro Mendez, 18, was with his two younger brothers in their garage-turned-bedroom when Womack forced his way in with a gun, prosecutors said.

Womack and Mendez engaged in a struggle for the gun which led to the gun firing off and striking Womack in the right hip. Moments later, Womack forced Mendez to the ground and shot him in the back, killing him.

Mendez left the scene and ran down an alley. His crashed vehicle was found by Modesto police officers on a nearby street. Prosecutors said blood was smeared all over the inside and outside of Womack's driver's side door and steering wheel.

Surveillance footage captured Womack running from the vehicle after crashing into a wooden fence. Womack was arrested shortly after he checked himself into Doctor's Medical Center for treatment of his gunshot wound.

Prosecutors said Womack was on parole at the time for a 2017 robbery and was released from prison only four months before murdering Mendez.

Womack faces 102 years to life in prison and a sentencing date will be set on April 15 when he will appear in court for trial on his previous robbery conviction, which qualifies as a strike in California.

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