Mesa man gets 22-year prison term in hammer death - Tucson News Now

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Mesa man gets 22-year prison term in hammer death

Vanessa Mendoza (Source: Mesa Police Department) Vanessa Mendoza (Source: Mesa Police Department)
Genaro Silva (Source: Mesa Police Department) Genaro Silva (Source: Mesa Police Department)
Christopher Alejo (Source: Mesa Police Department) Christopher Alejo (Source: Mesa Police Department)
Sylvia Olivas (Source: Mesa Police Department) Sylvia Olivas (Source: Mesa Police Department)
MESA, AZ (CBS5) -

A Mesa man convicted of killing a man with a hammer and dumping the victim's body in the desert has been sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Maricopa County prosecutors say 32-year-old Genaro Silva was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in February.

Silva admitted to killing Daniel Barraza Gomez, 39, on March 15, 201 at his girlfriend's apartment near Dobson Road and Southern Avenue, according to Mesa police Spokesman Steve Berry.

Silva is one of four people arrested in connection with a brutal homicide, police said.

Silva's girlfriend, Vanessa Mendoza, 27, was among those taken into custody after the victim's burned body was found in the desert.

Investigators said Silva walked into Mendoza's apartment to find Mendoza and Gomez together. Silva picked up a hammer and struck Gomez several times, killing him, Berry said.

Mendoza's mother, 44-year-old Sylvia Olivas, and Silva's acquaintance, 43-year-old Christopher Alejo arrived at the apartment a short time later. 

Alejo reportedly stole money from the victim and then helped Silva roll the body in bedding to remove it from the apartment, Berry said. 

The victim was loaded into a vehicle and driven to a desert location on the Salt River Pima Indian Community, where it was placed in a dry wash, covered in gasoline and set on fire, Berry said.

Silva told officers where they could find the body, and detectives were able to locate and recover the remains, Berry said.

Silva and three other defendants in the case have been ordered to split a restitution payment of more than $14,000.

[Related: Search on for Mesa woman after signs of struggle]

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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