El Paso, TX (KDBC) — The man accused of brutally gunning down his estranged wife's friend, Anthony Bowler, in her home had a history of violence with his estranged wife that culminated with the deadly shooting Saturday morning.
Albert Mendiola, 25, had allegedly been separated from his wife since approximately January 27, according to arrest affidavits obtained by NewsChannel 9 Monday morning.
Mendiola was arrested on February 10, 2014 at the couple's home on Warcloud after his estranged wife said that he came to the home drunk and wanted to come inside. At this time, she stated the couple had been separated for about two weeks. When she refused to let Mendiola inside the home, Mendiola allegedly walked around to the backyard of the home and made his way through the back door of the home.
When inside the home, Mendiola assaulted his estranged wife by hitting her and holding his hand over her mouth. When she attempted to call police, Mendiola smashed the phone, making it impossible to call for help.
Mendiola's wife then allegedly waited until he fell asleep so she could sneak into her son's room and use his cell phone in order to call her mother, who in turn called police.
When police looked through 9-1-1 calls for the night, they found a call placed from her cell phone to 9-1-1 at 2:29 a.m., but dispatchers were unable to get an address before Mendiola allegedly smashed the phone and the line went dead.
At this time, his wife asked for a protective order against Mendiola, stating to the police that she had been assaulted by him several times in the past.
Anthony Bowler had reportedly gone to the home on Warcloud for a BBQ on Friday evening. Bowler, Mendiola's estranged wife, and her four children were all inside the home when sometime after midnight, Mendiola arrived at the home with what was described as a M4 or M16 rifle across his body.
According to the arrest affidavit, Mendiola's estranged wife asked Bowler to hold the back door shut, the same door that Mendiola had allegedly entered through during his attack on her on February 10. She turned to grab her phone to call for help, and when she turned back toward Bowler, she saw him collapsed against the back door.
When she looked down, she realized that she had blood on her hand. She then looked up and saw Mendiola entering the home. He allegedly took her cell phone and held her, along with her four children hostage for several hours inside of the master bedroom and didn't allow them to leave the home.
The arrest affidavit sates that his estranged wife tried to talk Mendiola into leaving the home several times, but instead, he just paced back and forth with the rifle across the master bedroom.
It wasn't until several hours later that Mendiola's estrange wife finally convinced him to go to his family's home in the 8400 block of Tigres, where he allegedly confided in his family that he had murdered Bowler.
Police were then called to do a welfare check by Mendiola's family at 5:30 a.m., and that is when they discovered Bowler's lifeless body, which had several apparent gunshot wounds.
Mendiola later admitted to EPPD investigators that he committed the murder.
The affidavit lists the time of offense sometime between midnight and 5:30 a.m. Due to the circumstances surrounding Bowler's murder, an autopsy would have to determine how long Bowler had been dead before police arrived at the home on Warcloud, or if anything could have been done to save him.
Mendiola is currently facing charges in connection with violating a protective order and murder. He is being held in the El Paso County Detention Facility on a $253,000 bond.