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Defendant gets life in prison for the murders of men in Pomona and Altadena – Daily Bulletin

LOS ANGELES – A 35-year-old man convicted of killing two men – one in Pomona and the other in Altadena just over a month later — was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for what a judge said appeared to be a “surprise ambush” of his friends.

Shortly before he was sentenced, Michael Spengler pleaded “not guilty” to the Jan. 9, 2013, slaying of 32-year-old Michael Meza of Pomona and the Feb. 16, 2013, slaying of 26-year-old Marcus Nieto. of Azusa.

“I really didn’t commit these murders,” Spengler said, claiming he had lied to a prison informant to whom he had confessed his involvement in the murders. “I have been wrongly convicted.”

Jurors found Spengler guilty on April 29 of first-degree murder involving Nieto and second-degree murder involving Meza. The jury also found the special circumstances claim for multiple murders to be true.

Another jury had acquitted the Pomona man in 2017 of first-degree murder in Meza’s murder, but deadlocked on second-degree murder. A second person was acquitted of murder.

“Both murders appear to have been surprise ambushes of friends of the defendant,” Superior Court Judge Henry J. Hall said in ordering Spengler to serve life in prison without parole for Nieto’s killing and an additional term 15-year-old for the murder of Meza. . “They seem to be mostly meaningless.”

The judge said he believed Spengler “should never be released from prison” and said he was convinced the defendant is an “extremely dangerous man.”

Deputy District Attorney Martin Bean said the motive for the killings was unknown.

Defense attorney Stanley Perlo told jurors in his closing argument that there was no physical evidence such as DNA or weapons linking his client to any of the crimes and claimed his client was seeking protection in jail when he spoke to the jailhouse informant. .

“This is a very easy case to overturn the guilty (verdicts),” Spengler’s attorney told the jury. “Mr. Spengler is not just an attractive person… Is he a murderer? No.”

The prosecutor countered that Spengler is a “pathological liar” who wanted to deceive them.

“It had nothing to do with the defense,” Bean said of the defendant’s jailhouse statements about the killings.

Meza, who had been shot eight times, was found shot to death in a white Dodge Charger on the shoulder of White Avenue off the San Bernardino Freeway (10) east in Pomona.

Nieto suffered blunt force trauma to the head and was found by a passerby on a trail in the 3800 block of Canon Boulevard in Altadena.

Nieto’s father, David, said he hopes his son’s convicted killer “rots” in prison.

Meza’s younger sister, Elizabeth, said she was in court to represent her family.

“A part of us has died with our loved ones as well,” she told the judge, asking him to make Spengler “pay for the hurt and loss” the victims’ family members have suffered.

Defendant gets life in prison for the murders of men in Pomona and Altadena – Daily Bulletin Source link Defendant gets life in prison for the murders of men in Pomona and Altadena – Daily Bulletin

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