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Former gay porn star found guilty of murdering wealthy older lover for his money

David Enrique Meza

A former gay porn star has been found guilty of murdering his wealthy older lover in order to inherit his wealth.

David Enrique Meza, 26, who appeared in several adult films for Sean Cody as ‘Francisco’ and was also known by the alias Mario Romo, was convicted by a San Diego jury yesterday of killing Jake Clyde Merendino, 52, in Mexico in May 2015, The San Diego Tribune reports.

Meza lured his partner to the side of a road near Rosarito in the state of Baja Californica before brutally stabbing him 24 times, slashing his neck before dumping him in a nearby ravine, the court heard.

Jake Clyde Merendino
Jake Clyde Merendino was stabbed more than twenty times before being dumped in a ravine off a Mexican highway.

The two men had been in a relationship since 2013, but by the time of Merendino’s murder Meza – who stood to inherit from the Texan’s $3 million estate and was the sole named beneficiary of a $275,000 ocean-front condo purchased the day before Merendino’s murder – also had a pregnant fiancé, Taylor Langston.

Meza and Langston were captured on video re-entering the US soon after Merendino’s murder, according to investigators.

The couple, who were arrested in December 2015 eight months after the murder, claimed they had been visiting with a friend named ‘Joe’ in Tijuana, but the alibi was proved to be false in court.

The case against Meza was based entirely on circumstantial evidence: No DNA evidence linking the former adult star to the crime was found, while his attorney argued in court that it would have been difficult for Meza to move Merendino’s body based on his diminutive size and the fact the victim weight approximately 310 pounds.

David Meza and  his fiancé Taylor Langston
David Meza and his fiancé Taylor Langston were indicted in December 2015, eight months after Merendino’s murder.

After his alibi with Langston was proved false, Meza claimed he had originally invited his boyfriend to a spot near the murder scene with the intent to steal his stereo equipment, but backed out of the plan and left on his bike.

Jurors found Meza guily of murder and conspiracy to obstruct justice on the second anniversary of Merendino’s death, after a week of deliberation.

“David Meza took the life of a man who cared for him, lavished him with expensive gifts and who wanted to create a life with him,” said Acting US Attorney Alana W. Robinson in a statement.

“On this day, the second anniversary of Jake Merendino’s death, we salute the jury for delivering justice to a greedy killer who will now have to answer for his cruelty.”

Langston, who was also charged as an accomplice, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in February as part of a plea deal. She will be sentenced next month.

A sentencing hearing for Meza, who faces life in prison, has been scheduled for August 7.

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