CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- A police officer who discovered the body of a South Bay man stuffed in a barrel floating in San Diego Bay testified against the two men accused of killing him.
Timothy John Cook, 52, is accused in the death of 28-year-old Omar Medina. Prosecutors said Medina was stabbed 66 times. Derrick Jefferson Spurgeon, 38, of El Cajon, is charged with being an accessory after the fact. Spurgeon is accused of helping Cook, who was Medina's landlord, dispose of the body.
Medina's body was found by a diver on Oct. 12, stuffed inside a 55- gallon drum that was anchored to cinder blocks. Medina, a music producer from Chula Vista, had been reported missing by friends and family who had not seen him since Sept. 30.
Judge Stephanie Sontag ordered the identities of the defendants be protected, so FOX 5 is unable to show the men's faces.
The witnesses for the prosecution who testified Tuesday at the preliminary hearing included police officers, investigators and a cell phone and data criminal analyst. They talked about the initial steps of the investigation, when Medina was first reported missing, as well as the cell phone activity of the victim and the defendants.
A San Diego Harbor police officer spoke about discovering the barrel containing Medina's body in October.
“Once he took off the barrel, he wasn’t able to identify some of the materials on top because it was at the very top, but he did see two hands at the surface," said San Diego Harbor Police Officer Claudio Asiong.
Chula Vista investigator Manuel Salazar was present during Medina's autopsy and talked about the evidence that finally led investigators to arrest the two defendants.
The preliminary hearing is continued until Wednesday morning when forensic experts will take the stand.