A state prison inmate was convicted on Tuesday of first-degree murder for killing his cellmate, as well as separate assaults with a deadly weapon on other inmates, Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo said.
David Maurice Gomez, 48, was serving a term of 91 years and eight months to life at Salinas Valley State Prison for the crimes of forcible rape, two counts of forcible oral copulation, and first-degree residential burglary, according to Flippo.
On May 16, 2005, Gomez strangled his cellmate of two days until his voice box was crushed, beating him so severely that his face caved in and cutting him on the neck, forearm and wrist with makeshift weapons. Officers found the victim’s body in the back of the cell, prosecutors said.
Gomez later made a comment to a prison staff psychologist that since he was serving a life sentence already, this murder was a “freebie,” according to Flippo.
On February 18, 2009, Gomez slashed another inmate across the neck with a small piece of razor during the recess of a court hearing, causing the injured inmate to receive seven stitches at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital.
Gomez then attacked a third inmate while both were receiving dental care on April 14, 2009. Gomez jumped out of his chair, ran across the treatment room and stabbed the inmate in the chest with another makeshift weapon.
Since 2005, eight different attorneys have represented Gomez. From 2005 to 2013, assertions were made that he was too mentally ill to withstand trial, but in 2013 a Monterey County jury found him fit to stand trial, Flippo said.
Gomez now faces a maximum sentence of three additional life sentences consecutive to the sentence he is currently serving.
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