David Meza sentencing reset for Dec. 11Around the City, Latest Issue Thursday, October 12th, 2017
A judge has delayed the sentencing until Dec. 11 for David Enrique Meza who was convicted of murdering his wealthy boyfriend in Mexico in 2015 so he could inherit his estate.
Meza, 27, was convicted May 2 by a San Diego federal jury of the murder of Jake Clyde Merendino, 52, in Mexico. Merendino’s throat was slashed twice and he was stabbed 22 times May 2, 2015.
Meza’s attorneys won the new sentencing date after filing court documents that said they were having trouble coming up with information about Meza’s early life when he lived in Mexico as a boy and teenager. He is now a U.S. citizen after his parents brought him to the U.S. as a teenager.
“Because Mr. Meza was born in Mexico and spent the first 16 years of his life there, such investigation is difficult and time consuming,” wrote attorney Reuben Cahn. “Some of the circumstances of Mr. Meza’s upbringing are of extraordinary sensitivity such that uncovering and documenting them requires great time and effort.”
U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey Miller re-scheduled the sentencing from Oct. 23 to Dec. 11 after attorneys requested more time. Meza is likely to receive a life sentence in federal prison. An eight woman, four man jury convicted him on the second anniversary of the slaying of an American citizen in Mexico and conspiracy to obstruct justice, after seven days of deliberations.
Meza conspired with his then-girlfriend Taylor Marie Langston, 22, in which she created a phony alibi for him at the time of the murder. Langston was not present at the murder scene and was not aware of Meza’s relationship with Merendino.
Langston pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice and was sentenced June 16 to 21 months in prison. She is housed at the Victorville Correctional Institution in San Bernardino County and her release date is Dec. 26, 2018. Meza and Langston got married before their arrests and they have a young daughter.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Cioffa told jurors that Meza was “gay for pay” and described Merendino as Meza’s “sugar daddy.” Meza mailed a handwritten will to the probation court in Texas, saying that Merendino had left him his fortune.
Merendino had already prepared a will in 1997 that left some of his fortune to animal causes. Jurors got to see the 1-page handwritten will that Meza claimed was written by Merendino that said merely “I leave everything to David E. Meza.”
Meza remains in the Metropolitan Correctional Center without bail.
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