REDWOOD CITY — A jury returned a guilty murder verdict against a man Friday, more than 5 years after a Menlo Park man was discovered shot to death in a dirt parking lot on Highway 1 south of Tunitas Creek, according to prosecutors.
Omar Villagomez Meza, 31, was arrested in April 2020 after a lengthy investigation into the mysterious death of 25-year-old Luis Alberto Diaz-Lopez. Diaz-Lopez was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds and with his belongings missing just before 7 a.m. on Oct. 2, 2018.
According to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office, Diaz-Lopez was a gang member, and was recruited by Meza to commit a burglary with the aid of a woman. The woman was driving the pair when Meza instructed her to park in a dirt turnout on Highway 1. The two men exited the vehicle and without warning, Meza pulled a gun on Diaz-Lopez and shot him multiple times.
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Meza took jewelry and a cell phone from Diaz-Lopez and drove off with the woman. The gun was never recovered, prosecutors said. Between the killing and his 2020 arrest, Meza was convicted on a federal firearm charge and served a federal prison sentence.
On Friday, the 29th day of his murder trial, Meza was found guilty of first-degree murder and two enhancements, one for lying in wait and another for use of a firearm. The jury deadlocked on a enhancement alleging that Meza had committed the murder for the purpose of robbery.
Meza is set to return to court on Nov. 29 to set a date for his sentencing and to discuss his prior convictions.