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Mar 12, 2013 12:47 AM by Alyssa Reilly

Homicide suspect involved in love triangle

TUCSON - Detectives say it appears a love triangle prompted the murder of 19-year-old Jesus Duarte.

According to court documents, Duarte had a sexual relationship with a girl who was dating 18-year-old Sammy Anthony Terrazas Jr., who believe is, the suspect in the case, Detectives think that Terrazas was pretending to be the girl to lure Duarte to his death.

Three of Duarte's friends said they saw threatening text messages and Facebook messages up to a month before the slaying from the girl. The messages would threaten the victim's life, then shortly after, attempt to persuade the victim into meeting face to face.

On the night of March 3, Duarte threw a house party at the Tierra Palms Apartments. He asked one of his friends to come with him to meet up with the girl, but Duarte ended up leaving the party alone. On the other side of the apartment complex, Duarte suffered mulitple gunshot wounds. Witnesses say they saw a dark colored Dodge Durango fleeing the scene.

Detectives ran Terrazas' second address through the Department of Motor Vehicles and a 1999 Dodge Durango came back as a positive match.

Court documents say detectives went to Pueble Magnet High School to interview the girl. When Terrazas caught wind of this, he left class unexpectedly. He ran to his Durango and tried to escape through the back of the school, but the gate was locked. Terrazas dashed on foot, but police eventually detained him.

In the interview with the girl, she confirmed her sexual relationship with Duarte and said that Terraza had just found out about the relationship the day before the murder. The girl admitted she saw a pistol in her boyfriend's glove compartment the same day they engaged in a heated argument over the matter. The next day, the pistol was removed from the vehicle.

Terraza's parents confirm that they have also seen their son with a handgun.

Detectives recovered a .9mm handgun and amunition during their search.

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