By Michelle Cornelius
A 24-year-old man was sentenced to over 50 years in prison on March 29 for the killing of 19-year-old Octavio Jesus Alcala at an Irvine Construction site. Suspected bike theft was the motivation behind the murder.
Jacob Michael Margo, a Santa Ana resident, lured Alcala into the remote construction site before beating him, shooting him, and then leaving for Mexico two days after the killing. Alcala’s body was found lying face-down in a remote construction area with no buildings on June 5, 2015, by construction employees arriving for work.
Before the altercation unfolded, Margo told his friend that he was “going to kill the guy who took his bike,” according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Keith Burke.
Margo drove the victim to the site before savagely beating him. According to the prosecutor, the body that was found was a “bloody mess.” After the beating, Margo shot Alcala and disposed of the gun and ammunition in Laguna Beach. Although the weapon was discarded, Margo’s DNA was found on a rock at the crime scene through police investigation.
In the trial, Margo attempted to argue that the murder was not pre-planned, stating that it was a “heat-of-the-moment” decision and he only intended to make Alcala inconvenienced by being forced to “walk home.” Margo also claimed he strangled Alcala in an attempt to avoid punishment for using a gun as the murder weapon.
In response to Margo’s claims, the prosecutor countered, stating that although Margo made the murder seem like a spur of the moment killing, “[the construction site is] a great place to kill someone and he knows that.” He further stated that Margo’s body showed no sign of a fight in comparison to the victim’s bloody body.
Margo will serve 50 years to life in prison for the crime.