David Enrique Meza of Imperial Beach was convicted by jury this morning (May 2) of killing his boyfriend to get his inheritance. The lover, Texas retiree Jake Clyde Merendino, was stabbed 24 times exactly two years ago. Meza was convicted of dumping the body in a ravine near Rosarito Beach, Mexico.
Meza was convicted of interstate or foreign domestic violence resulting in murder and conspiracy to obstruct justice. He will be sentenced August 7 at 9 a.m. in the court of federal Judge Jeffrey T. Miller, who presided over the trial.
Meza and Merendino, more than twice his age, had a romantic relationship. At the same time, Meza was involved in a long-time relationship with Taylor Marie Langston, a Chula Vista High graduate who was pregnant with Meza's child at the time of the murder. She pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in February; she and Meza had agreed to lie about their whereabouts at the time of the murder.
According to evidence developed at the trial, Merendino showered Meza with valuable gifts. Merendino was murdered two days after he had closed escrow on a luxury waterfront condominium in Rosarito. Shortly thereafter, Meza produced a handwritten will written on hotel stationery that made him the sole heir to Merendino's estate, including the condo.