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Meth User Gets 25 Years to Life for Killing Woman


Tuesday, December 20th, 2011
Issue 51, Volume 15.


RIVERSIDE - A methamphetamine addict who beat, slashed and strangled a woman with whom he was doing drugs in Riverside was sentenced today to 25 years to life in prison.

Nikolaus Ryan Meske was convicted in December of first-degree murder in the July 2007 slaying of 38-year-old Sherri Suzanne Moore.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Jean Leonard imposed the sentence required by law on Meske, who turns 33 tomorrow.

According to trial testimony, the ex-con had only known Moore a couple of weeks and was doing meth with her and two other men when the fatal attack happened.

Deputy District Attorney Michelle Paradise said Meske became angry with the Highgrove woman about having to abandon plans to burglarize a home full of electronic equipment that the victim had checked out, without telling the defendant and his associates that there were surveillance cameras on the property.

Paradise said Moore had no way of knowing the cameras were there, but Meske didn't believe her.

When the victim joined the defendant, 33-year-old Ernesto Antonio Pena and 42-year-old Scott Hussey at the latter's house -- a converted garage on Harrison Street -- to "slam" meth, Meske flew into a rage and began beating the woman, according to the prosecutor.

She said Meske struck Moore in the face numerous times, then strangled her with twine until she fell unconscious.

The defendant used a buck knife to slash Moore's neck in four places, including her voice box and jugular vein, according to testimony.

Afterward, Meske, with help from Hussey and Pena, wrapped the victim's nude body in garbage bags, "dumping her like trash" in an orange grove near the corner of Dufferin Avenue and McAllister Street, where the remains were discovered on July 17, 2007, Paradise said.

Hussey pleaded guilty last year to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 11 years in prison. Pena pleaded guilty to being an accessory to a felony and was sentenced on Jan. 6 to three years in jail and probation. However, after receiving credit for time served, he was immediately released from custody.

Both men testified for the prosecution.

Meske had two prior convictions for identity theft.


Sentencing Set for Man Who Fatally Beat, Slashed Woman in Garage

RIVERSIDE - A methamphetamine addict who beat, slashed and strangled a woman with whom he was doing drugs in Riverside is expected to be sentenced tomorrow to 25 years to life in prison.

A jury deliberated five hours in December before convicting Nikolaus Ryan Meske of first-degree murder in the July 2007 slaying of 38-year-old Sherri Suzanne Moore.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Jean Leonard is expected to impose the sentence required by law on Meske, who turns 33 on Thursday.

According to trial testimony, he had only known Moore a couple of weeks and was doing meth with her and two other men when the fatal attack happened.

Deputy District Attorney Michelle Paradise said Meske became angry with the Highgrove woman about having to abandon plans to burglarize a home full of electronic equipment that the victim had checked out, without telling the defendant and his associates that there were surveillance cameras on the property.

Paradise said Moore had no way of knowing the cameras were there, but Meske didn't believe her.

When the victim joined the defendant and 33-year-old Ernesto Antonio Pena and 42-year-old Scott Hussey at the latter's house -- a converted garage on Harrison Street -- to "slam" meth, Meske flew into a rage and began beating the woman, according to the prosecutor.

She said Meske struck Moore in the face numerous times, then strangled her with twine until she fell unconscious.

Meske used a buck knife to slash Moore's Advertisement
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neck in four places, including her voice box and jugular vein, according to testimony.

Afterward, the defendant, with help from Hussey and Pena, wrapped the victim's nude body in garbage bags, "dumping her like trash" in an orange grove near the corner of Dufferin Avenue and McAllister Street, where the remains were discovered on July 17, 2007, Paradise said.

Hussey pleaded guilty last year to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 11 years in prison. Pena pleaded guilty to being an accessory to a felony and was sentenced on Jan. 6 to three years in jail and probation. However, after receiving credit for time served, he was immediately released from custody.

Both men testified for the prosecution.


Meth Addict Convicted of Murdering Woman

RIVERSIDE - A methamphetamine addict who beat, strangled and fatally slashed a woman with whom he was partying was convicted today of first- degree murder.

A Riverside jury deliberated five hours before finding Nikolaus Ryan Meske guilty in the July 2007 slaying of 38-year-old Sherri Suzanne Moore.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Jean Leonard scheduled sentencing for Feb. 22. Meske faces 25 years to life behind bars.

In her closing statement on Monday, Deputy District Attorney Michelle Paradise told jurors that the defendant was a "cold-blooded killer" who took pains to ensure that he not only killed Moore, but made certain she suffered.

"This man not only wanted her to die, but to die slowly," Paradise said.

Meske had only met the Highgrove woman weeks before and was doing meth with her and two other men when the fatal attack happened, according to Paradise.

She said testimony from Meske's nearly two-week trial revealed he was irate about having to abandon plans to burglarize a home full of electronic equipment. The defendant and friends had learned about the property from Moore, but found out later that the house had hidden security cameras that could identify them.

The prosecutor said Moore had no way of knowing the place was rigged with surveillance equipment. But Meske didn't believe her.

When the victim joined the defendant and 33-year-old Ernesto Antonio Pena and 42-year-old Scott Hussey at the latter's house -- a converted garage on Harrison Street -- to "slam" meth, Meske flew into a rage and began beating the woman, according to Paradise.

Meske struck her in the face numerous times, then strangled her with twine until she fell unconscious, the prosecutor said.

According to Paradise, Meske used a buck knife to slash Moore's neck in four places, including her voice box and jugular vein.

"He wanted to ensure she had no chance of survival," Paradise said, telling jurors Moore bled to death over a 10-minute span.

The defendant, with help from Hussey and Pena, wrapped the victim's nude body in trash bags, "dumping her like trash" in an orange grove near the corner of Dufferin Avenue and McAllister Street, where the remains were discovered on July 17, 2007, Paradise said.

Hussey and Pena testified for the prosecution. Hussey pleaded guilty earlier this year to voluntary manslaughter and is be sentenced to 11 years in prison on Jan. 9. Pena pleaded guilty last year to being an accessory to a felony and is slated to be sentenced to jail and probation.

Defense attorney Kim Lasalle assailed the credibility of both witnesses, questioning whether either of the lifelong meth users could correctly recall nine-tenths of what they alleged happened to Moore the night she died.

She argued that both Hussey and Pena fingered her client to avoid facing murder charges themselves.

Paradise countered that reams of forensic evidence, including fingerprints and DNA, as well as Meske's own statements linked him directly to Moore's death.


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