On the morning of Jan. 15, 2001 police arrived at the home of 27-year-old, UNLV student, Tzatzi Sanchez to find her bound and murdered.
Sanchez came to Las Vegas immigrating from Mexico, sent by her family to get an education and attended classes at UNLV. Sanchez’s roommate and former lover Marsella Whaley also immigrated from Mexico. After meeting at Sanchez’s place of business, a restaurant became roommates.
Previous to Tzatzi’s murder she was in a love triangle that involved Marsella Whaley and their other roommate, another woman. Marsella’s former lover and Sanchez began a relationship that now excluded Marsella. She became angry with jealousy and began to plot how she would enact her revenge.
Marsella befriended Luis Barroso on her job at a warehouse and promised him romance and money in exchange for a deceitful plot to rob, assault, and murder Sanchez in a brutal way.
Barroso and a friend, Obed Marroquin, carried out Marsella’s plan but was interrupted by Sanchez’s male roommate Carlos and friend who had come home unexpectedly that night. Carlos escaped the assaulters and called the police. Once police arrived they found Sanchez bound and already dead from the deadly home invasion.
Clues lead police to Barroso after evidence was found at his home, He then confessed to the crime, and the plot created by Whayley in exchange for a plea to avoid the death penalty.
While Barroso was charged and convicted for the murder in Las Vegas. Barroso sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole. Whaley fled to Mexico to escape U.S. capture. While there and feeling safe, she started her very public career as a News broadcaster.
A year later Marcela Whaley, at age 31, was arrested in her hometown of Durango, Mexico. In normal circumstances, Mexico would not necessarily cooperate and extradite one of their citizens to the U.S for a crime. However, it was not long before justice was served to Marsella through a Mexican court where she was convicted of murdering Sanchez in the U.S., another one of its Mexican citizens.
Marcela Whaley (aka Luz Marcela Villanueva-Soto) was tried in Mexico, convicted and sentenced to 39 years in a Mexican prison. Obed Marroquin-Valle, Barroso’s accomplice was charged with life and possible parole in 2034.
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