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Killer sentenced for stabbing, dumping body in barrel in San Diego Bay

Posted at 10:59 AM, Jan 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-06 20:33:49-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The man who stabbed his housemate to death in Chula Vista and stuffed his body in a barrel was sentenced Monday morning to 56 years to life in state prison.

Timothy John Cook, 54, was convicted of killing 28-year-old Omar Medina in September 2017 by stabbing him 66 times in the chest, back, neck, and head. Medina’s body was found 12 days later in a barrel which had been dumped in San Diego Bay and weighed down with an anchor made of wire and cinderblocks.

In announcing her decision, the judge cited Cook's previous criminal record.

RELATED: Opening statements made in murder trial involving body found in barrel

The victim’s mother and sister testified at the sentencing hearing, mentioning their faith.

“What I want is my brother, Mr. Cook. I forgive you and that’s a decision I make every day when I wake up. That’s a decision I will always make for the rest of my life. I hope you choose carefully how you want to spend your eternity,” said Medina’s sister.

Prosecutors said Cook and Medina worked for Cook’s younger brother at a scaffolding company. The two men were roommates at a home in Chula Vista. In a text exchange with his brother, Cook expressed annoyance with Medina over his drinking and sloppy household behavior, leading Cook to eventually kick him out of the house, according to the prosecutor.

Medina’s family filed a missing persons report on Sept. 30 after failing to hear from him. His car was discovered not far from his home with his computer and guitar inside.

RELATED: Bodycam video shows officer confront accused killer of man found in barrel

A second man, 38-year-old Derrick Spurgeon, was arrested on suspicion of assisting Cook in disposing of the barrel on Oct. 11.

Surveillance footage allegedly captures the men in a green Ford F-150 owned by Cook's half-brother, which is seen towing Spurgeon's boat from El Cajon to the bay. Somerville alleged that a barrel matching the one containing Medina's body can be seen in the bed of the pickup in the footage.

City News Service contributed to this report.