Special Reports

Pasco killings suspect won't fight return

Pasco massacre suspect Pedro Reyna Mendez may be brought to Washington within a month to face murder charges.

According to Franklin County Prosecutor Dennis DeFelice, Mendez decided not to fight extradition. Arrangements to bring Mendez to Pasco are being made by the Franklin County Sheriff's Department.

A definite date for the transfer has not been set, but Mendez is expected to be transported to Pasco in about three to four weeks, according to DeFelice.

The prosecutor has 30 days after Mendez is arraigned in this state to decide whether to seek the death penalty.

Mendez, 31, is being held at the Hidalgo County Jail in Edinburg, in South Texas where he was arrested July 4.

Local authorities were informed about Mendez's return Wednesday morning.

He is being held on a Franklin County Superior Court warrant for five counts of aggravated first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

The charges stem from a incident on Oct. 13, 1987. Two men entered Medina's Body Shop in Pasco near A Street and Oregon Avenue, and gunned down five men and wounded another. Authorities have long suspected Mendez and his cousin, Vicente Mendez Ruiz, in the slayings.

Mendez, who lives in Colima, Mexico, was arrested after authorities were informed he was going to be traveling to South Texas, according to Mitch Reinitz, the McAllen, Texas, police public information officer.

"Police officers and the FBI were informed he was going to be at a local residence here in McAllen," Reinitz said in a telephone interview. "We got there and waited for him to come out to arrest him. He did not put up a fight."

The cousin is still at large. Texas law officers say they believe he is in Mexico.

They also said he has periodically returned to the United States and the Washington area during the past six years but never has been caught.

The two cousins reportedly went to Mexico after the killings.