SAN DIEGO — A former gay porn star has been sentenced to life in prison for brutally stabbing his millionaire boyfriend to death in a bid to steal his estate.
David Enrique Meza, 27, had been living a double life, making pornographic films and working as prostitute advertising on gay escort sites, while living with his fiance who was pregnant with his child at the time of the murder in 2015 in Mexico.
Meza had met Jake Clyde Merendino, a 51-year-old retiree from Texas in 2013 and had carried on an affair with him, eventually convincing the millionaire to buy a $273,000 luxury oceanfront condominium at Palacio del Mar in Rosarito, Mexico, naming him as beneficiary. Merendino also drew up a handwritten will giving Meza everything.
After the two men drove to Mexico in May 2015, Meza lured Merendino to a remote oceanside road, where he stabbed his boyfriend 24 times and nearly decapitated him before throwing his body off a cliff. Meredino’s body was found a few hours later by Mexican police.
“His double life was collapsing under its own weight. A solution was the savage murder of Mr. Merendino,” said Judge Jeffrey Miller. “The Merriam dictionary defines ‘heinous’ as hatefully or shockingly evil, abominable. This murder was shockingly evil – excessively so.”
The day after the killing, Meza and his fiance returned to the resort condo to collect Merendino’s belongings and soon after tried to file the handwritten will in court.
But with no physical evidence linking Meza to the killing, he was not charged until seven months after the killing. Investigators eventually pieced their case together through cell phone records placing Meza in the area of the killing, the recollections of hotel staffers in Mexico where they had stayed, and surveillance footage.