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Woman accused of threatening a witness in Rogers attempted murder case

by Tracy Neal | January 25, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
Closeup of silver handcuffs detaining crime prisoners. Shot on the wooden table arrest tile arrests / Getty Images


BENTONVILLE -- A Dardanelle woman is being held on $100,000 bond after she was arrested in connection with threatening a witness in an attempted murder case.

Estefany Ileana Mendez, 32, is in the Benton County Jail. Prosecutors haven't filed formal charges against her.

Mendez is accused of sending threatening texts to the sister of the man Steven Jordan is accused of shooting, according to a probable cause affidavit. She was Jordan's girlfriend, according to the affidavit.

Jordan, 29, of Rogers, is charged with attempted capital murder, battery and possession of firearm by certain persons. He's accused of the Feb. 3, 2021, shooting of Cody Lupica at 803 E. Greenfield St. in Rogers, according to court documents.

Police started investigating after learning Lupica's sister received messages from Mendez attempting to persuade Lupica to change his story and not cooperate, according to the affidavit.

Mendez was in court Monday for a bond hearing.

Joshua Robinson, senior deputy prosecutor, asked Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green to set Mendez's bond at $100,000 cash only. Robinson described the case against Mendez as a strong one and said she may be a danger to witnesses and the community.

Police received screenshots of messages between Mendez and Lupica's sister, according to the affidavit.

She told the sister in the first message "my man is the person that they claim shot your brother," according to the affidavit. She wanted her to warn her brother he may be in danger if word got out on the street he's cooperating with police about testifying, according to the affidavit.

She claimed Jordan had nothing to do with the shooting, according to the affidavit.

Police also examined a cellphone seized from Jordan while he was being held in prison for a parole violation. Police found what they believe are messages between Jordan and Mendez. The two discussed Lupica and information about Lupica's family members, according to the affidavit.

Police learned Jordan sent Mendez the first message she relayed to Lupica's sister, according to the affidavit.

Jordan and Mendez also discussed the possibility of harming Lupica, and Jordan told her not to do anything without his permission, the affidavit states.

Mendez admitted sending the message to Lupica's sister, according to the affidavit. She told police Jordan told her to contact anybody that could hurt Lupica's family if things didn't go his way, according to the affidavit. Mendez said she never contacted anyone and only went along to ease Jordan's mind and keep him happy, according to the affidavit.

David Atchison called police Feb. 3, 2021, and said he had been struck on the head with a pistol and Lupica had been shot, according to court documents.

Police went to Mercy Medical Center after receiving a call Lupica was at the hospital with gunshot wounds to the abdomen, according to court documents.

Jordan's jury trial is scheduled to begin April 4. He's being held in the Benton County Jail on a $500,000 bond.


Print Headline: Woman accused of intimidating witness in attempted murder case

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