Teenage Stockton murder suspect surrenders to police

A teen who was named as a suspect in the shooting death of a youth pastor turned himself in to Stockton police Tuesday afternoon.

Keith Denegal, Jr., 17, was taken into custody at the Stockton police headquarters in connection to the death of Jesus Villegas Mendonza, 23, on May 6. He was booked into juvenile hall.

"He turned himself over to homicide detectives and he was with his lawyer," Officer Joe Silva said.

According to investigators, Mendoza was shot while driving home to his family after work on Main Street. A bullet went through the windshield and hit Mendoza, killing him. Detectives believe Mendoza was not the intended target.

On May 13, a no-bail felony homicide arrest warrant was issued for Denegal.

Centro Apostolico Pastor Ramon Leal said he still gets emotional watching videos of Mendoza, better known as Jesse, preach at his church. He said he's happy about the arrest.

"I am happy this person will be off the streets," Leal said. "But, I am sad because [Denegal] was a very young man he had everything going for him."


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