AP NEWS

Man sentenced for killing roommate, hiding body in barrel

January 7, 2020 GMT

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A man convicted of stabbing his roommate and stuffing his body in a barrel was sentenced Monday to prison in California.

Timothy Cook received a sentence of 56 years to life for second-degree murder.

Cook, 54, was convicted last month of killing 28-year-old Omar Medina of Chula Vista in September 2017. Medina was stabbed 66 times, authorities said.

Prosecutors contended that Cook killed his roommate to get about $80,000 that Medina had received in a legal settlement — although Cook never accessed the money — and because he disliked Medina for drinking and being sloppy.

Medina″s body was found nearly two weeks later in a 55-gallon plastic barrel that had been anchored with wire and cinderblocks and dumped in San Diego Bay.

Prosecutors said traffic cameras showed Cook and another man towing a boat with the barrel in it to the bay.

Cook acknowledged taking steps to conceal Medina’s body but denied killing him.

Medina’s sister, Alicia Villegas, told Cook at the hearing that she forgives him and prays that he finds healing.

A second man, Derrick Spurgeon, was accused of helping Cook get rid of the body. The case ended in a mistrial last month and a new trial hasn’t been scheduled.