Mario Romo, who got his start in the adult film industry as Sean Cody’s “Francisco” in 2010 (and whose legal name is David Meza), has been indicted on multiple charges and stands accused of tricking a wealthy Texas man into a relationship, convincing him to name Meza as his legal heir, then murdering him.
According to FBI documents, Meza, 25, and his girlfriend Taylor Marie Langston, 20, concocted the plan to swindle and kill 52-year-old retiree Jake Merendino together. On a trip to Mexico, they persuaded Merendino to name Meza as his sole heir in a handwritten will.
Merendino was then stabbed over 20 times in the chest and stomach. His body was ditched in a ravine near the highway between Rosarito and Ensenada.
After the murder in May, Meza brought the will to Merendino’s lawyer in Texas in an attempt to claim a sizable inheritance.
Below, see the very sketchy document:
NBC San Diego filled out this timeline leading up to when Merendino’s body was discovered:
On April 29, Meza and Merendino rented a car in Spring Valley and drove into Mexico so Merendino could close escrow on a $300,000, oceanfront condo at Palacio del Mar, an upscale development between Rosarito and Ensenada.
Because the new condo was not ready, the two men crossed back into the U.S. and checked into the Hercor Hotel in Chula Vista. On May 1, Merendino drove back to Baja, California in his Range Rover, while Meza followed behind on his motorcycle — a 2014 Christmas gift from the victim, according to the affidavit.
Federal authorities said the couple then checked into Bobby’s by the Sea hotel, not far from Merendino’s condo. The victim came down to the lobby between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. on May 1, looking for a wine bottle opener, and at about 10:30 p.m., people at the hotel heard a motorcycle leaving the parking lot. Meza’s was the only motorcycle on the property that night, the search warrant says.
Investigators interviewed Meza in June when they served search warrants to his apartment and vehicles. During that interview, officials say Meza denied killing Merendino but did say he and Langston were planning on robbing him. He said he called Merendino on the night of his death and asked him to meet at the spot his body was found.
Meza told authorities that instead of robbing Merendino, he got cold feet and left.
Meza faces federal counts of interstate or foreign domestic violence resulting in murder and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Langston, Meza’s girlfriend (who was pregnant with Meza’s child at the time of the murder and has since given birth), faces charges of obstruction of justice, false statement to a federal officer, and conspiracy to obstruct justice.
At their arraignment, Meza and Langston both pleaded not guilty. Meza was denied bail, and Langston was released to GPS monitoring with a $50,000 bond.
If convicted, Meza faces life in prison and Langston could see 20 years behind bars.
Meza worked with various gay porn studios since 2010 including Sean Cody, NextDoorStudios, Helix and Raging Stallion.
He is the second gay-for-pay Sean Cody performer accused of murder — in 2012, Jason Andrews (aka “Addison”) was convicted of also conspiring with his girlfriend to kill for personal gain.
Below, find a safe-for-work albeit creepy-in-retrospect interview of Meza: