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Preliminary hearing set for defendant in Newman officer slaying

Family of Newman Police Cpl. Ronil Singh thanks President Trump at National Peace Officers Memorial

President Trump invited the family of slain officer Ronil Singh to speak onstage at the National Peace Officers Memorial in D.C. on May 15, 2019. Reggie Singh, the corporal’s brother, and Anamika Singh, his widow, thanked Trump and law enforcement.
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President Trump invited the family of slain officer Ronil Singh to speak onstage at the National Peace Officers Memorial in D.C. on May 15, 2019. Reggie Singh, the corporal’s brother, and Anamika Singh, his widow, thanked Trump and law enforcement.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for the defendant charged in the slaying of Newman police Cpl. Ronil Singh, in which a judge will determine whether there is enough evidence to hold a trial.

Defendant Paulo Virgen Mendoza, 32, appeared in Stanislaus Superior Court on Friday with his attorney, Stephen Foley. Superior Court Judge Ricardo Córdova scheduled Dec. 10 as the start of the preliminary hearing and set aside four days, though the hearing could take fewer days.

Córdova also scheduled a June 24 court hearing to discuss the status of the case. Foley said he was concerned whether he would receive all the discovery from prosecutors and review it in time for the preliminary hearing. He said that includes discovery from federal authorities as well as discovery in Spanish that needs to be translated.

Discovery is the information, such as witness statements and reports, that defense attorneys and prosecutors share with each other.

Mendoza is accused of shooting Singh, 33, during a Dec. 26 traffic stop in Newman. Mendoza is identified in Stanislaus County Jail records as Gustavo Perez Arriaga, an alias. But he’s referred to in court by his given name. He is being held without bail.

Authorities say Mendoza entered the United States illegally from Mexico. The case has inflamed debate over California’s immigration policies, with then Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson and President Trump alleging that the state’s policies had prevented the deportation of Mendoza before the fatal encounter with Singh.

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