Murder suspect's family in teacher love triangle talksPosted: Updated:
Suspect's family talks to 3TV
CHANDLER - According to the State Board of Education, a clerical glitch prevented a Valley high school from learning that its teacher was under investigation.
This was the same teacher who was involved in a deadly love triangle where police say one of her students was killed inside her home allegedly by the teacher's fianc, a former student of hers.
3TV has been following this story since the beginning and talked to the victim's family. Now 3TV hears from the suspect's family who says both families are victims and they want to see the teacher punished for her alleged involvement as well.
Alex Balbuena is the oldest of five. He and his younger siblings were raised in a very strict, tight-knit household. Out of all the brothers Alex, and Sixto, who are just three years apart in age, were the closest. Alex says, "He loved soccer, football and b-ball."
Like most brothers, they shared a lot but when it came to love Alex admits, "We knew he had a girlfriend but, you know, we're guys. We didn't really talk details. We didn't really ever look into it."
Back in November of 2006 when police pulled Sixto over in his teacher, Tamara Hoffman's, vehicle at 1 a.m. his brother told him, " They were at a soccer gameafter that he went off to the Navy, and we didn't think anything else of it."
Police reports indicate Sixto had been discovered with his teacher's bra although they both denied a sexual relationship. At that time, Hoffman was teaching at Marcos de Niza High and Sixto, 17 years old at the time, was a student of hers.
Detectives reported the incident to her school. She was disciplined and resigned. An "open investigation" was placed on her teaching certificate. The following year, when she applied at El Dorado High, the school looked on the Department of Education's database, which includes information on prior disciplinary matters.
According to a statement released on Wednesday, "A single piece of information was not entered into the teacher certification database. This error did not permit schools to view all the information. Specifically that Ms. Hofmann was being investigated by the state board. "
Alex says, "I hope it's corrected because I would not want anyone else to go through what we're going through." Alex is referring to the nightmare that happened almost two weeks ago at Hofmann's home in Chandler.
Police say Sixto, now 20 years of age, was returning from the Navy to his fianc, Tamara's home when he walked in on her and another student, 18-year-old Samuel Valdivia. Police say he stabbed Valdivia before calling 911. Samuel died as a result of his injuries.
Alex says his heart goes out to the victim's family. "Really sorry for everything, I'm sure they are going through a lot, if we're going through this, I can't imagine what they are feeling."< /p>
Sixto was released from jail on Saturday and returned home. He now faces second-degree murder charges. Alex admits, "He's really feeling bad, that wasn't like him. I'm helping him cope with guilt of everything he did."
Alex is now just trying to keep the family together. He says his parents have taken this really hard. His family, like the victims family, wants the teacher to face some consequences.