Las Vegas Sun

April 18, 2014

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Man convicted in murder for hire

Jurors returned a guilty verdict Wednesday in the case of a Las Vegas man charged in a murder-for-hire plot involving a lesbian love triangle.

Jurors found Luis Barroso, 25, guilty of 10 felony charges, including first-degree murder, sexual assault and kidnapping charges.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Frank Coumou said the state plans to argue for Barroso's execution when a penalty phase begins in the case on Feb. 20.

Tzatzi Sanchez, 27, a student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, was found strangled in her home near Nellis Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue on Jan. 15, 2001. Prosecutors say Sanchez's former lover hired Barroso to kill her after she began a relationship with another woman.

During a trial last week before District Judge Nancy Saitta, prosecutors argued that Barroso and a man named Omed Marroquin broke into Sanchez's home through a window and tied up Sanchez and two men they found there. Sanchez was gagged and sexually assaulted before being strangled.

Marroquin will stand trial at the conclusion of Barroso's case. Marsella Whaley, the woman authorities say orchestrated the killing, fled to Mexico. Authorities there refused to extradite her back to the United States.

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