One-time cold case ends with 13-year prison sentence - KPTV - FOX 12

One-time cold case ends with 13-year prison sentence

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Nine years after Portland resident David Mendoza-Navarro was shot and killed, the man responsible was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Randy Saiville was sentenced Thursday on a manslaughter charge, just days after the nine year anniversary of the killing.

Portland police detectives say Mendoza-Navarro, then 21, was killed during a carjacking. His body was left in the street near NE 136th Avenue and Shaver Street on Dec. 8, 2002.

Randy Saiville emerged as the primary suspect when he was found driving Mendoza-Navarro's truck days after the shooting, but detectives did not have enough physical evidence or witnesses to charge him with the crime.

While Saiville was serving a sentence for a separate robbery and stabbing in 2007, Mendoza-Navarro's family approached the Portland Police Bureau's cold case unit about reopening the investigation.

"When we re-contacted some of those same witnesses, they were in a better place in life when we contacted them and they gave much more truthful testimony," said Det. Jim Lawrence.

Lawrence believes Saiville targeted Mendoza-Navarro for the carjacking because he was an immigrant and therefore less likely to contact police.

"We have evidence to suggest that when Randy entered the truck, David put up a fight and Randy probably was not successful getting the truck as fast as he wanted to," said Lawrence.  "So, David was shot by Randy and essentially left in the middle of the intersection."

Mendoza-Navarro, a Mexican national, worked as a landscaper to provide for his family in Oregon and Mexico. He served as a father figure to his young nieces and nephews, who each addressed the court during Thursday's sentencing.

"I think you should think about what you did every day," his niece said as she looked Saiville in the eyes. Her words prompted a visible reaction from Saiville.

After hearing from the nine family members, Saiville stood and tearfully apologized.

The tears and apology meant nothing to Mendoza-Navarro's nephew, Christopher Andrade, now a teenager. The sentencing, he said, does not take away the family's suffering.

"It's a lot like walking a mile in torn-up shoes. You know you get a lot of cuts and scrapes along the way, but when you're finally there and you can finally rest your feet for a second," said Andrade.  "Because, of course, this doesn't mean we're content. This doesn't mean we're happy now. It just means that we got a break and we got to sit down for a minute before we keep on walking."

Many family members expressed disappointment that Saiville will only serve a 13-year prison sentence. Due to Measure 11, he will spend a full 10 years behind bars and will be eligible for credit for good behavior for the remaining 26 months.

"I don't believe it's a true measure of justice," said Det. Lawrence. He said the case was difficult, because many of the people who would testify for the state are criminal associates of Saiville.

Saiville has remained in custody during the extent of the investigation and prosecution.

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