A man who shot and killed another man “for no reason” in Desert Hot Springs nearly two years ago was sentenced Thursday to 25 years to life in state prison.
Anthony Garza, 28, pleaded guilty to a first-degree murder count last month for shooting Dominick Mesta, 21, four times in the face on Dec. 18, 2016.
Mesta’s body was found in the late morning hours of Dec. 20 near a home in the 13000 block of Via Real, wrapped in a pile of blankets.
Prosecutors said Garza shot Mesta in the home’s garage, then dragged the body to a nearby alleyway with the help of Alejandro DeSantiago, 40. DeSantiago and his sister, Candelaria DeSantiago, 33, who told police two strangers shot the victim. They both pleaded guilty last year to being an accessory after the fact and were sentenced to about a year in prison each.
Investigators found Garza’s bloody jeans inside the Via Real home’s garage, and the blood on the pants matched Mesta’s DNA, according to the prosecution. Loose ammunition matching the caliber of the murder weapon was also found in the pockets. The gun was found elsewhere in the house, while a bloody shirt was found inside a washing machine.
In a police interview, Garza admitted to shooting and pistol-whipping Mesta and told police “he did it for no reason,” according to court documents.