BROCKTON (CBS) – A woman charged with killing another driver in a Brockton road rage confrontation was ordered held without bail following her arraignment on Monday. Jacqueline Mendes’ defense attorney claims she acted in self-defense.
Mendes, 32, of Fall River is charged with murder. Charges were upgraded after the victim in the incident did not survive.
Prosecutors say Mendes stabbed 41-year-old Jennifer Landry of Brockton in the neck on Friday around 3:45 p.m. following a “traffic confrontation” in the area of Belmont and Grafton Streets. Landry was taken by MedFlight from the scene but did not survive.
“There was a verbal exchange between the two that escalated into a physical, as they described it a tussling match between them. One witness described punches being thrown,” Assistant District Attorney Richard Linehan told the court.
Mendes did not remain on scene following the incident. She drove off, then went to Brockton Police headquarters and told officers she had been involved.
But during Mendes’ arraignment Monday in Brockton District Court, her defense attorneys said Landry was the initial aggressor who got out of her car first and had the knife.
“This is not the demeanor or temperament of a murderer,” said defense attorney Joseph Krowski as he pointed to Mendes. “This is the demeanor and temperament of a person that got involved in a very terrible and tragic situation.”
Landry’s family was emotional in court, telling reporters that justice was served as Mendes was ordered held without bail.
“I think that they’re in shock and I think that they need some time to heal and grieve from this. And they also at the end of the day they want justice for their family,” said Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz.