A $20,000 reward to an informant whose information and assistance led to the arrest and conviction of the killer of a man found dead on a trail in Altadena was approved Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Michael Spengler was convicted April 29 of first-degree murder in the Feb. 16, 2013, killing of 26-year-old Marcus Nieto of Azusa, who 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.
Spengler was convicted of second-degree murder for the Jan. 9, 2013, shooting death of 32-year-old Michael Meza of Pomona.
Spengler was sentenced on July 6 to life in prison without the possibility of parole for Nieto’s killing and an additional 15-year-to-life term for Meza’s slaying.
“Both murders appear to have been surprise ambushes of the defendant’s friends,” Superior Court Judge Henry J. Hall said. “They appear to be largely senseless.”
Meza, who had been shot eight times, was found dead in a white Dodge Charger on the shoulder of the White Avenue off-ramp from the eastbound San Bernardino (10) Freeway in Pomona.
“Today’s approval of the reward payout is a testament to our board’s commitment to compensate individuals who courageously step forward and help solve a crime,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who introduced multiple motions to extend the reward which initially was created by a motion by her predecessor Mike Antonovich.
“I believe rewards work and bring justice to family members and loved ones who have gone through the pain of losing someone near and dear to them. Perseverance is key.”