Accusations Thrown Around at Snowball Murder Trial - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Accusations Thrown Around at Snowball Murder Trial

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    Accusations Thrown Around at Snowball Murder Trial
    NBCPhiladelphia.com
    Jose Mendez faces murder charges in the shooting death of a teen.

    Did a murder suspect kill a teen over a snowball fight, or did he just defend himself?

    A Philadelphia jury must make a decision over the case of the snowball-throwing teen and the gun-wielding suspect.

    Who did what is at the heart of the trial that began this week in a Philadelphia courtroom.

    Prosecutors and the defense made their opening statements Wednesday in the murder trial of Jose Mendez. The 25-year-old faced charges that he shot and killed a teen in Feb. 2008.

    Teven Rutledge was shot near his Feltonville home on his 15th birthday. The teen died a day later.

    An enraged Mendez allegedly went home to get an unlicensed gun, after a snowball fight devolved into an argument, prosecutors said. He returned and allegedly shot Rutledge in the head.

    But the defense argued that Mendez intervened after Rutledge and two friends ganged up to throw snowballs at a lone Hispanic man -- then Mendez allegedly shot a knife-wielding Rutledge in self-defense.