A jury found a man guilty of second-degree murder Thursday in the stabbing death of a man whose body was found floating inside a barrel on the San Diego Bay in 2017.
Timothy John Cook, 52, was one of two men on trial in connection with the death of 28-year-old Omar Medina, whose decomposed body was found stuffed inside a 55-gallon drum floating just off the Chula Vista marina on Oct. 12.
Cook faces up to 87 years to life in prison when he is sentenced for the charge on Jan. 6, 2020.
The jury was deadlocked on the fate of Cook's co-defendant, Derrick Jefferson Spurgeon, 38, who pleaded not guilty to a charge of accessory to murder.
The pair were arrested in December, months after a diver spotted a suspicious plastic barrel with a hazard tag and a wireline attached to it in the water and reported it to authorities.
The barrel appeared to be tied down with cement blocks. Police believe a metal chain may have also weighed it down before it broke loose and surfaced at the marina.
When police pulled the barrel to the shore and opened it, the found a body inside, so badly decomposed that it took the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office about six weeks to identify.
Medina was stabbed 66 times. The medical examiner's report documented stab wounds to Medina’s nose, mouth, jaw, scalp and neck as well as his wrists, hands and fingers. There were so many wounds, investigators described them as a cluster.
According to the autopsy report, Medina was able to be identified in part by fingerprints and the tattoo of a five-pointed star on his left ankle.