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Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. Defense attorneys Dorene Kuffer and Barbara Kahn went before Scott on Thursday to argue that Marcelina Mendoza's sentence was too severe. Mendoza was not responsible for any of the injuries that caused Eduardo's death," said Kuffer, an assistant public defender.

To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. "The 50-year sentence imposed by the court was excessive." The attorney contended that Marcelina Mendoza had tried to discipline her son and that she never struck Eduardo Jr. Prosecutors Matthew Chancey and Claudia Kasten maintained that the acts of both parents led to their son's death, even though Eduardo Mendoza inflicted most of the beatings.

Mendoza that contributed to the death of the child." The Mendozas pleaded guilty to murder in the death of Eduardo Jr., who was the victim of almost three weeks of physical abuse at the hands of his parents. 27 to life in prison, and Marcelina Mendoza was sentenced to 50 years. showed that he died of the cumulative effect of being beaten, kicked, bitten and tossed around the family's one-room apartment.

Kuffer said she will ask the Illinois Appellate Court in Elgin to reduce the sentence.

February 26, 1993 A Highland Park father, who kicked and beat his 3-year-old son so savagely and so often that the child died, was sentenced Thursday to life in prison.

Lake County Circuit Judge Charles Scott said the sentence on Eduardo Mendoza Sr., 23, is retribution for the cruel, brutal and painful death of Eduardo Mendoza Jr. The boy's mother, Marcelina Mendoza, 20, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for her part in the Aug. The judge said that Marcelina Mendoza also had been a victim of her husband's violence.

But he said she contributed to her son's injuries and death by beating and biting him and picking him up by the ears and throwing him around the room.

"Other than being trapped by this whole scenario of violence, which was initiated by her husband, I think Mrs. The Mendozas, who are undocumented immigrants from Mexico, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Eduardo Jr.

Testimony showed that Eduardo Mendoza inflicted most of the child abuse.

"Marcelina Mendoza was not the primary actor in this scenario," the judge said, "but that does not excuse her because she participated in some very affirmative acts." The toddler wasn't even allowed outside to play during the three weeks he was repeatedly kicked and beaten by fists, shoes and an electrical cord in the 7-by 13-foot room where the five-member family lived in Highland Park, according to testimony at the Mendozas' sentencing hearing.

"The nightmare on 2nd Street best describes the life this little boy had," said Assistant State's Atty. "It was one nightmare after another." She and the other prosecutor, Matthew Chancey, had urged that Eduardo Mendoza be sentenced to death. is so brutally murdered by his family," Chancey argued, "we have the right to expect the ultimate penalty.

"Punishment should fit the crime, but the law (in Illinois) does not allow the punishment that would truly fit this crime." Chancey said the life sentence means that, under Illinois law, Eduardo Mendoza will never be eligible for parole. Gross had asked Thursday that Mendoza be shown mercy, although his client appeared resigned to facing a death sentence.

"If my life has to be taken away, I will have to pay with my life," Mendoza told Scott just before being sentenced.

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