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Turlock man prison bound for Bay Area murder over $10

Turlock man prison bound for Bay Area murder over $10

Timothy Guerra

POSTED July 28, 2016 6:47 p.m.

A San Mateo County jury found a 20-year-old Turlock man guilty of stabbing to death a 19-year-old college student for a $10 debt.

Timothy Andrew Guerra, 19, was convicted of second degree murder for the death of Denis Meshchyshyn, 19, a student at College of San Mateo and Belmont resident.

Around 7:30 p.m. April 25, 2015, the Belmont Police Department was dispatched to the 600 block of Masonic Way, on a report of a stabbing.  Upon arrival, first responders found Meshchyshyn suffering from multiple stab wounds to his stomach. He was rushed to a hospital, where he died from his injuries, according to the Belmont Police Department.

Meshchyshyn was first found by two of his friends, who later told investigators when they arrived they saw him being attacked by another man, who fled the area when they arrived.

Investigators identified Guerra as a suspect after learning he was upset with Meshchyshyn over a $10 debt. Guerra had recently moved to Belmont from Turlock.

Guerra learned Meshchyshyn was going to meet his friends at a Wendy’s and confronted him there about $10 he gave him for a ride that never happened. At some point on the confrontation Guerra pulled out a knife and stabbed Meshchyshyn.

Four days after the stabbing Guerra was located at Donnelly Park in Turlock and taken into custody. Guerra was 19 years old at the time of his arrest.

The prosecutor in the case, Steve Wagstaffe, told the San Jose Mercury News that Guerra made a rap song about killing people who get in his way. The song was recorded during a jail phone call.

"It's an evil act when you kill someone over something as trivial as a $10 debt," Wagstaffe told the San Jose Mercury News.

Guerra is facing 15 years in prison for the death. He is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 16

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