San Francisco man facing retrial pleads guilty to stabbing martial-arts buff 

A 43-year-old man who had been facing retrial in the stabbing last year of his roommate instead pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor assault, his attorney said.

Octavio Meza had been charged with attempted murder for the Oct. 9 stabbing of Jayson Lindsey, who had been staying at Meza’s Mission district apartment. Meza claimed Lindsey, a mixed-martial arts buff, had been bullying him for months, and that he was merely defending himself against Lindsey’s attack.

Lindsey was stabbed in the chest and severely wounded.

A jury deadlocked at Meza’s first trial, 11-1 in favor of acquittal, and a mistrial was declared. Awaiting a second trial for attempted murder, Meza on Monday accepted a plea deal from prosecutors. He will receive credit for time already served in jail since his arrest and have to pay nearly $15,000 in restitution, defense attorney Eric Safire said.

“We’re very happy ... he was looking at life in prison,” Safire said Tuesday. “I appreciate the efforts of the District Attorney’s Office, in trying to avoid what I’ve always viewed as an unnecessary, expensive trial.”

Meza, a baker who holds two jobs and supports two children, will still be facing deportation proceedings.

Safire said because Meza pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and not a felony, he could still be permitted to stay in the country.

“There’s a presumption against deportation because he is responsible for the support of two American citizens, and he’s been in the country for over 22 years,” Safire said.

aburack@sfexaminer.com

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