Gay Porn Star Mario Romo Found Guilty of Murder
SAN DIEGO — Gay adult star Mario Romo was convicted by a federal jury earlier this week in the murder of his boyfriend, who was stabbed 24 times including a slash to his throat.
Romo started his career with Sean Cody in 2010 and worked for about a dozen gay studios also under the names Francisco and Elder Gonzalez. His birth name is David Meza.
Romo was found guilty after Mexican authorities found Jake Clyde Merendino stabbed to death and dumped in a ravine in a Baja ravine near a highway between Rosarito and Ensenada.
According to evidence presented at trial in the U.S., Romo, then 23, and Merendino, then 49, met online in June 2013 and were involved in a romantic relationship.
At the same time, Romo was also involved in a long-term romantic relationship with Taylor Marie Langston, a Chula Vista High graduate who was pregnant with his child at the time of the murder. Prosecutors said Romo was living a double life.
Merendino’s death came two days after he closed escrow on a luxury oceanfront condominium at Palacio del Mar in Rosarito. Romo was the beneficiary, prosecutors said.
Within days of the murder, Romo produced a handwritten will written on hotel stationery that made him sole heir to Merendino’s estate.
After the slaying, one of the Merendino’s friends filed probate paperwork for a will Merendino drew up in 1998 in Galveston, Texas.
A few days later, Romo, through his lawyers, contested the 1998 will and filed the handwritten will on letterhead from the Hercor Hotel in Chula Vista, which he claimed was executed by Merendino in December of 2014, and left Romo “everything.”
Romo was convicted on one count of interstate domestic violence resulting in murder and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced in August.
Langston also was charged in the indictment. She pleaded guilty but has yet to be sentenced.