Jessi Lydell Mendoza. Photo via Facebook

A man who fatally shot a woman whose body was set ablaze on a dirt road south of Alpine was sentenced Tuesday to 50 years to life in state prison.

Jessi Lydell Mendoza, 30, previously pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and a gun allegation in the March 8, 2014, death of Kimberly Hayes.

Authorities said the 35-year-old victim was shot to death in an El Cajon apartment and her body was discovered the next day on Sequan Truck Trail.

Co-defendant Matthew Leroy Williams, 31, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and gun-use allegations and was sentenced in March to 21 years behind bars.

Two women, Lauren Rae Huett and Jennifer Stein, pleaded guilty to being accessories to the crime.

Authorities said the motive for the killing apparently stemmed from attempts by Hayes to gain custody of Stein’s and Mendoza’s newborn child, though it was unclear why Hayes, an emergency medical technician and former hospital worker, wanted the baby.

— City News Service

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