Las Vegas Sun

October 20, 2014

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Two suspects to face trial in strangling death of LV woman

Two men suspected of killing a Las Vegas woman in a murder-for-hire scheme will face trial.

Justice of the Peace Tony Abbatangelo ruled Thursday there is enough evidence for Luis Barroso, 23, and Obed Marroquin, 26, to be bound over for trial in the Jan. 15 death of Tzatzi Sanchez, 27.

Police allege that Marcela Whaley hired the two men to sexually assault and kill Sanchez because Sanchez left her to begin dating another woman -- a woman she herself had dated for nearly six years.

Whaley was last seen Jan. 25 trying to enter the United States from Mexico, Metro Detective Jeff Rosgen said. U.S. Border Patrol officers deported her because she had lied about being a U.S. citizen. No warrant had been issued for her at that point.

Police said two men broke into Sanchez's home near Nellis Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue early Jan. 15, tied up two men in the home and stole numerous items.

During the hour-long incident, police said Sanchez was tied up, raped and then strangled.

Juan Antonio Mayen, one of the men police said was tied up, testified he heard Sanchez and Whaley exchange words during a barbecue at Sanchez's home on Jan. 14.

Mayen said he went to bed at 6 a.m. and that he awoke later to the noise of his friend, Carlos Rene Villafana, being hit over the head with a wine bottle.

Mayen said he was covered with a blanket by two men, one of whom lifted the blanket to show him he was armed with a gun. The men then asked for his name.

After hearing the answer, one of the men said "OK, the problem is not with you. We were sent here to do this and we won't hurt you," Mayen said.

Mayen said he and Villafana were then tied up. Later, after hearing a vehicle leave, Mayen said he was able to untie himself and Villafana.

He and Villafana called police after finding a bloody, bound and naked Sanchez.

Mayen identified Barroso as the man with the gun. He said he never saw the other man.

Also testifying was Rodrigo Mata, who frequently gave Barroso rides to and from work. Mata said Barroso admitted raping Sanchez. He also said he turned over to police items of jewelry that Barroso had given him to evaluate, in case he wanted to buy them.

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