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Tanner man gets 20 years in stabbing

By Holly Hollman 340-2445

ATHENS — A Tanner man who stabbed his wife to death and told his son, "Sorry, son. You don't have a mama no more," pleaded guilty Monday to murder.

District Attorney Kristi Valls said Fernando Nolasco Mendez, 42, accepted a plea bargain in Circuit Court Judge Jimmy Woodroof's court. Mendez got 20 years.

"And once he is out, he will be deported to Mexico because he's in our country illegally," Valls said.

The district attorney said Mendez did not address the court.

In March 2005, Mendez stabbed his wife, Macaria Archundie Martinez, 28, with a kitchen knife at their home in Swan Creek Trailer Park off U.S. 31, according to Sheriff's Department reports. The victim had defensive wounds on her hands and a stab wound to her chest.

The couple's son, then 10, and a daughter, then less than 2 years old, were home at the time, Chief Investigator Stanley McNatt said.

McNatt said the boy woke up and saw his father coming out of the bedroom, covered in blood.

"That's when Mendez told his son he didn't have a mama anymore and told him to call 911," McNatt said.

Mendez stayed at the mobile home until authorities arrived.

McNatt said Mendez's wife had told him a week prior that she wanted to leave him because she had found someone else.

McNatt said he did not know if the couple's children were born here and are American citizens; however, he said they are staying with an aunt in the Tanner area.

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