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Former Gay Porn Actor Sentenced to Life for Murdering Millionaire Lover

Tuesday Dec 12, 2017

A former gay porn actor was sentenced to life in prison Monday for murdering his rich lover in 2015, People magazine reports.

In May, a federal jury in San Diego found David Meza, 26, guilty of domestic violence, resulting in the murder and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Jake Merendino, 51, was found stabbed to death 24 times and his throat slit in a ravine near Rosarito, Mexico in 2015.

Meza modeled for the gay porn studio Sean Cody under the name Francisco and appeared on various gay porn sites, including and used the name Mario Romo.

In addition to his life sentence, Meza, who maintains his innocence, was ordered to serve an additional 20 year in prison for the conspiracy to obstruct charge, People reports.

After his sentencing, federal authorities released a statement about the murder of Merendino, calling it a "near-decapitation."

"The Merriam dictionary defines 'heinous' as hatefully or shockingly evil, abominable," U.S. District Judge Jeffrey T. Miller said at the hearing on Monday, according to People. "This murder was shockingly evil - excessively so.

"If we try to visualize what happened, we visualize blow, after blow, after blow, after blow, after slash, after slash, after slash, after blow, and repeat another three times," he continued. "One can't even imagine the torture and torment Mr. Merendino experienced."

It was argued that Meza killed Merendino so he could inherit his $3 million estate and his $2,730,000 oceanfront condo. Merendino, who grew up in Beaumont, Texas, inherited his fortune from his parents, who both worked for ExxonMobil.

Authorities said at the time of the murder, Meza was living a double life as an online male escort, which Merendino was apparently not aware of. Meza also had a pregnant girlfriend, Taylor Langston, in San Diego. He later asked her to help cover up the crime.

Langston pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice in February at a federal court in San Diego. She told authorities that around the time of Merendino's death, she and Meza went to Mexico to visit Meza's friend "Joe," spending four hours there before returning home, People reports.

Meza was charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice because authorities believed he contacted "Joe" to ask to provide a fake alibi for him and Langston.

During the sentencing this week, Judge Miller said Meza's "double life was collapsing under its own weight. A solution was the savage murder of Mr. Merendino."

People reports the men first met when Merendino hired Meza as an escort through an online ad while vacationing in San Diego in June 2013.

Click here to read People's full report on the murder.


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