Luis Padilla, who was charged more than two years ago with the fatal shooting of another Edison man, was convicted of the crime in Superior Court in New Brunswick today, according to a statement released by Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan.
Padilla, 29, was found guilty of murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpos,e and unlawful possession of a weapon in the November 23, 2010 murder of Kevin Meisnest, 25.
In custody since his arrest shortly after the murder, Padilla is scheduled to be sentenced on April 29. He faces up to life in prison with no chance of parole until he completes 85 percent of his sentence.
The jury returned the verdict to Superior Court Judge Bradley Ferencz after deliberating about five hours over two days, Kaplan said.
During a trial that began on February 4, 2013, Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Weiss presented evidence and testimony showing Padilla, who was a friend of the victim, shot Meisnest five times whle he was at his Edison apartment.
An investigation by Detective Frank Varga of the Edison Police Department and Investigator Brian Gilmurray and Investigator Michael Daniewicz - both of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office - determined that Padilla went to a relative’s home in Brooklyn after he killed Meisnest.
Padilla was brought to a precinct station in Brooklyn on November 24, 2010, and was charged a day later.
Police began the investigation after receiving a phone call on November 24 from Meisnest’s employer, who was concerned when Meisnest, a tow truck driver, failed to report for work.
Edison police met the employer at Meisnest’s apartment where they discovered the victim.