A Santa Ana resident was convicted Monday of killing a 19-year-old man at an Irvine construction site because he suspected the victim stole his bike.
Jacob Michael Margo, 24, was convicted of first-degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for the use of a gun in the killing. Margo, who is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 1, is facing up to 50 years to life in prison.
Margo lured Octavio Jesus Alcala to a construction site near Wolf Trail and Orchard Hills, where he shot him, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Keith Burke. Alcala’s body was found on June 5, 2015, by employees arriving for work.
Margo told one of his friends before the shooting that he “was going to kill the guy who took his bike,” Burke told the jury.
After driving the victim to the site, Margo “savagely beat” Alcala before gunning him down, according to the prosecutor, who said police found some of the defendant’s DNA on a rock at the crime scene.
Margo testified about a “strangulation” to make the case it was a “heat of the moment” killing, but Burke argued that the defendant planned to take the victim to the construction site because it was in a remote area far from residences and dumped the gun and ammunition in the ocean in Laguna Beach.
Margo testified he did not intend to hurt Alcala, but wanted to make him “walk home,” according to Burke.
“He’s trying to make it sound like they stumbled onto this construction site,” the prosecutor said. “But it’s a great place to kill someone and he knows that… You have time to leave to get rid of evidence like the murder weapon.”
Margo “had the upper hand the entire time” with the victim, whose body was a “bloody mess,” while Margo was seen with hardly a scratch on him after the killing, the prosecutor said.
Margo also said he went to Mexico two days after the killing “to get away,” not because he was concerned about publicity about the case, Burke said.
He accused Margo of making “obvious lies” in his testimony about “simple stuff. So why would you trust him to tell you about the big stuff?”
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