A former Sean Cody star has been sentenced to life in prison.
David Enrique Meza, an adult film actor and escort who went by the name "Mario Romo" in the world of gay porn, stabbed his boyfriend, Jake Clyde Merendino, to death in May 2015, according to Pink News and The San Diego Union-Tribune.
In an apparent plot to inherit Merendino's $3 million estate, Meza stabbed his 51-year-old lover 24 times, gutting him and slicing open his neck, according to evidence at trial. After Merendino died, Meza dumped the body off the edge of a cliff.
"One can’t even imagine the torture and torment Mr. Merendino experienced," said U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller, who gave Meza a life sentence for the "inhumane, depraved act."
The 26-year-old committed the crime in the early morning of May 2, not far from a condo Merendino had purchased for retirement in Rosarito, Mexico. The pair had been staying at a resort, Bobby’s by the Sea, to celebrate the condo's closing. Merendino was lured away from the hotel, after Meza called to say his motorcycle had broken down by the side of the road.
Afterward, Meza attempted to cross the U.S. border with his pregnant fiancée, Taylor Langston, while riding the motorcycle, which had been gifted to him by Merendino. Meza met Meredino online through a gay escort website in 2013 while, unbenknownst to him, Meza was still in a relationship with Langston.
Meza stood to inherit his Texas lover's fortune — a will scrawled on a hotel notepad said Merendino would "leave everything" to him, although the document's authenticity is in question. After Merendino's death, Meza submitted the will to a Texas court; he was arrested more than seven months after the crime.
A federal jury in San Diego convicted Meza of foreign domestic violence resulting in murder as well as conspiracy to obstruct justice. For her role in the crime, Langston will also serve almost two years in federal prison.