Samuel Valdivia
Samuel Valdivia

The man who stabbed an 18-year-old Chandler El Dorado High School student to death after he caught him in bed with his girlfriend and former math teacher was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Sixto Balbuena, 21, who was facing up to 22 years in prison for the crime, was found guilty of second-degree murder in June in the April 9, 2009, stabbing death of Samuel Valdivia, a senior at El Dorado High School. Both Balbuena and Valdivia were having a relationship with teacher Tamara Hofmann, 49, according to court records.

Balbuena was home on leave from the Navy when he went to Hofmann’s house that evening and caught her and Valdivia together in bed. Valdivia ran, but Balbuena caught him in the bathroom, where he stabbed him multiple times with a 9-inch butcher knife, according to police reports.

Hofmann had previously been fired from her teaching job at Tempe’s Marcos de Niza High School in connection with an alleged relationship she was having with Balbuena when he was a 17-year-old student at the school, according to police reports.

Hofmann surrendered her teaching certificate to the Arizona Board of Education in December, according to Charles Easaw, chief investigator for the state Board of Education.

(1) comment


10 years is not enough for taking another human life.

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