Mesa homicide suspect was once deported - East Valley Tribune: News

Mesa homicide suspect was once deported

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Posted: Friday, February 8, 2008 6:18 pm | Updated: 10:33 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Police arrested a once-deported illegal immigrant and ex-convict Thursday in connection with Mesa’s second homicide of the year.

VIDEO: Watch Tribune reporter Nicole Beyer's report

Marcelino Almanza, 41, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of his 17-year-old roommate, Prudencio Lobato-Baltazar, court records show.

The slaying occurred about 11:30 p.m. Saturday at La Mesa Village Apartments, 655 S. Mesa Drive, police said.

When police arrived to the scene, they found Lobato-Baltazar in his apartment bleeding uncontrollably with multiple stab wounds. The teen died after he was taken to a local hospital, but before his death he told a friend that his roommate had stabbed him, police said.

Police began a search for Almanza and found him Thursday in the 200 block of W. Second St. The suspect tried to run, but police caught him.

Police read Almanza his rights and conducted an interview, court records show. During the interview, Almanza admitted to stabbing his roommate over an argument the two had over the “type of women” the teen was bringing into the apartment, court records show.

Almanza told police that the fight turned physical and that he removed a folding knife from his shorts and stabbed the victim nine to 10 times, court records show. He said he didn’t know what came over him and that he just lost control.

Records show Almanza had been released from the Arizona Department of Corrections in April after serving time for an aggravated assault conviction. He was then deported to Mexico, but has since returned.

He admitted to police, he had re-entered the country illegally, which was in violation of his conditions of release from prison.

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