Man pleads guilty in 1988 love triangle shooting

VISTA, Calif. — A man who shot his friend three times in the back over a woman, then fled to Mexico and remained on the lam for three decades, pleaded guilty Thursday to assault with a firearm causing great bodily injury.

Simon Mayo, 58, is due to be sentenced next month to nine years in state prison for the Dec. 12, 1988, shooting of Jose Hernandez in Rancho Santa Fe.

Mayo fired at least five times on Hernandez, who suffered three gunshot wounds, Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe said. The shooting took place outside a residence on Luna de Miel.

Mayo remained a fugitive until authorities caught up with him in Austin, Texas, last Dec. 11, one day short of the 30-year anniversary of the shooting.

Prosecutors said Mayo and the victim were both vying for the affections of the same woman, who Mayo married sometime afterward.

Watanabe said, “After 30 years of waiting for justice, (Hernandez) was pleased to know that defendant admitted his guilt.”

Under the plea agreement, an attempted murder charge will be dismissed at sentencing, currently set for Oct. 3.

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