Student killed in love triangle with maths teacher

AN 18-YEAR-OLD high school student caught in his 48-year-old maths teacher’s bedroom was stabbed to death by the teacher’s boyfriend, who was himself a former student of hers, police said yesterday.

Chandler police said Sixto Balbuena, 20, told them he never meant to kill Samuel Valdivia. He allegedly told police “the blade went in like going into butter” and that he just wanted to show Valdivia how much he had hurt him by sleeping with Tamara Hofmann.

Balbuena, a navy sailor on leave from California, was arrested on a charge of second-degree murder after police found him covered in blood and he told them about the killing.

Balbuena found his girlfriend naked and Valdivia in his boxer shorts in the woman’s bedroom, according to court documents.

Balbuena told police that Valdivia apologised to him before Balbuena began kicking, punching and throwing things at him, according to a police probable cause statement.

Police said Balbuena told them he “wanted to teach the victim a lesson”, and stabbed him in the lower side with a kitchen knife, according to the court document. Valdivia later died at a hospital.

He also threw Hofmann to the floor, jumped on top of her and demanded to know how long she had been cheating on him, according to the document.

Police said Hofmann taught Valdivia maths at El Dorado High School in Chandler and was also Balbuena’s teacher when he attended Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe.

Police spokesman Sgt Joe Favazzo said Hofmann is being investigated for potential misconduct relative to her involvement with Valdivia.


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