A Rexburg man who was sentenced to prison in February for robbery has reportedly died while in custody, according to an Idaho Department of Correction news release.
IDOC Public Information Officer Jeff Ray said Gilberto Mendoza, 28, was found hanging in his cell at 6:47 p.m. Thursday at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution where he was serving his sentence.
The news release states prison staff attempted life-saving measures, but were unable to resuscitate Mendoza. He was pronounced dead at 7:49 p.m.
Mendoza was arrested in August 2019 after he robbed a gas station in Idaho Falls by threatening an employee with a knife. When Idaho Falls Police Department officers and Idaho State Police troopers located him, he held a knife to his throat. Police incapacitated him using a Taser.
During his sentencing in February, attorneys discussed the role mental illness may have played in his actions. District Judge Joel Tingey sentenced Mendoza. He was ordered to serve a minimum of two years in prison, half of which had been completed at the time of his death.
Ray said Mendoza’s death was an apparent suicide, and that an investigation is ongoing.