Mendez testified he shot Rutledge in the head because Rutledge threatened him with a knife.
Prosecutors argued for first-degree murder on grounds Mendez left the scene and returned with a gun. Mendez said he came back because Rutledge had threatened him and fired in self-defense.
Defense attorney Lee Mandell says he is satisfied by the verdict. Assistant District Attorney Deborah Watson-Stokes says she respects the jury's decision.
Mendez faces 10 to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 21.