A man’s second-degree murder conviction of 56 years to life in state prison was upheld by an appellate court on Friday for stabbing his Chula Vista housemate 66 times, then dumping his body into San Diego Bay in a barrel.

According to prosecutors, 28-year-old Omar Medina was killed on Sept. 30, 2017. His body was found on Oct.12 inside a 55-gallon drum that was spotted floating in the bay with stab wounds to the chest, back, neck, and head. 

Timothy John Cook was found guilty of second-degree murder in January 2020. According to Deputy District Attorney Cherie Somerville,  Cook Killed Medina to gain access to approximately $84,000 the victim received in a legal settlement. 

According to text messages shared during the trial, Cook demonstrated disapproval of Medina’s drinking habits and household behavior. 

The two men shared a home at ​​526 McIntosh St.

Prosecutors alleged Timothy John Cook was helped by Derrick Spurgeon, who owned a boat, to take the barrel out into San Diego Bay, help weigh down the barrel and dump it into the water. Spurgeon was later sentenced to six months in county jail after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of unlawfully disposing of a dead body. 

Medina’s family filed a missing person report soon after Sept.30 with the Chula Vista Police Department. Authorities located the victim's vehicle containing personal items on Oaklawn Avenue near the home the two men shared.

Cook’s defense attorney had read a written statement from her client during his sentencing which claims he found Medina’s body, disposed of it, and failed to report what happened to the police. He alleged to not contact police over bad prior experiences and fears that he would be blamed for the killing.

A three-justice panel of the Fourth District Court of Appeal  said Cook's "actions and statements before and after the murder provide abundant circumstantial evidence that he committed it."

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