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Man pleads to manslaughter in '10 love triangle killing

Published: Monday, Feb. 27 2012 3:20 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of taking part in a love-triangle slaying pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge.

Jose Allan Gallegos-Mendoza, 26, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, a second-degree felony, in the shooting death of Juan Jose Rubio-Navaro, 32, who was gunned down in his driveway on June 24, 2010. In exchange for his plea, a charge of obstructing justice, a second-degree felony, was dropped.

Gallegos-Mendoza was initially charged with murder, a first-degree felony.

Rubio-Navaro was sitting in his driveway at 545 N. New Star Drive (1785 West) waiting for a ride to work when a car drove by carrying two passengers who fired multiple shots. Rubio-Navaro died from two gunshot wounds to his chest. Prosecutors say Jose Adrian Rodriguez-Ramirez, sitting in the passenger seat, fired the fatal shots while Gallegos-Mendoza drove.

Both Gallegos-Mendoza and Rodriguez-Ramirez have said the other man fired the revolver they apparently later dumped in a canal. But Rodriguez-Ramirez told police he was in love with Rubio-Navaro's wife, Maria Marta Campusano, and wanted to marry her.

Rodriguez-Ramirez, 27, pleaded guilty to murder, a first-degree felony, and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

Campusano, 25, was charged with obstruction of justice in connection with her husband's death, as police say she not only lied about having an affair, but also kept them from getting information on her lover by saying she didn't have his phone number and hadn't talked to him in six months. A jury, however, determined she was not guilty.

Sentencing for Gallegos-Mendoza has been set for April 27.

Emiley Morgan

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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