Robert Duffell Teen Killer Fatally Shoots Girlfriend

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Robert Duffell was seventeen years old when he fatally shot his fifteen year old girlfriend. According to court documents Robert Duffell and his girlfriend were involved in an argument when the teen killer shot her in the head.. After the victims body was found Robert Duffell was soon arrested. Along with the murder the teen killer was also wanted for a violent home invasion. At trial Robert Duffell would be sentenced to twenty two years in prison

Robert Duffell 2021 Information

Robert Duffell Teen Killer Fatally Shoots Girlfriend 1
Last Name First Name Middle Initial DUFFELL ROBERT 
Gender Height (inches) Weight Hair Color MALE 68 156 BLACK
Eye Color Ethnic Origin Custody Class Admission BROWN CAUCASIAN Medium/Moderate 06/07/2016
Projected Eligible Release Date Prison Release Date Release Type 12/16/2036 SENTENCE EXPIRATION
Most Recent Location As of Date Complex Unit Last Movement Status EYMAN ASPC-E MEADOWS I12/20/2018 ACTIVE

Robert Duffell More News

A 17-year-old boy has pleaded not guilty in the shooting death of his 15-year-old girlfriend.

Robert Duffell entered the plea at his arraignment Thursday. His next court date is March 4 at 8:15 a.m. before Commissioner Phemonia Miller.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office identified a female’s body found in the desert about 45 minutes west of the Valley on Monday morning as that of missing teenager Leah Costa.

Deputies said the 15-year-old ran away from her grandmother’s house in a county area near Tonopah with Duffell on Christmas Eve.

According to MCSO, she had been shot in the head.

Duffell was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail late Tuesday on suspicion of second-degree murder.

“We do believe she was shot and killed on the 26th,” said MCSO spokesman Chris Hegstrom.

Duffell was found Saturday disoriented and dehydrated and walking along Interstate 10 at milepost 78, according to officers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety who found him.

At the time, there was no sign of Costa.

Hegstrom said deputies questioned Duffell and then arrested him without incident early Tuesday morning.

“He did admit to being involved in the shooting and to having shot her,” Hegstrom said.

Duffell is also facing charges of burglary and assault with a deadly weapon stemming from a home invasion in Tonopah on Dec. 26.

Costa’s body was found south of Interstate 10 near 411th Avenue in Tonopah.

Deputies searched the Saddle Mountain Recreational Area after campers reported seeing Costa walking in the area several days ago.

Robert Duffell Other News

An 18-year-old Buckeye man was sentenced to 22 years in prison for murdering his 15-year-old girlfriend in December 2014.

The slaying occurred when Robert Edward Duffell was 17.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge George Foster on Friday also sentenced Duffell to seven years of intensive probation once his prison sentence expires.

Duffell was initially charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and burglary, court records show. The teenager pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and burglary.

Sheriff’s deputies found the body of his girlfriend, Leah Costa, in the southwest Valley near Tonopah. Costa, also from Buckeye, had been shot in the head.

Duffell and Costa, both Buckeye residents with histories of mental illness, ran away together on Christmas Eve 2014, Buckeye police said. Duffell had run away from home four times before, according to court documents.

The burglary charge stems from an incident involving both teens shortly before Costa’s killing.

Prosecutor Greg Thurston recapped previous testimony from Duffell to explain what happened.  After running away, the couple broke into a home and stole the homeowner’s three handguns, Thurston said. When the homeowner returned, Thurston said, Duffell shot one of the guns through the door but did not hit the homeowner.

Duffell and Costa fled out the back door of the house and hid in some bushes, until an argument arose and Duffell shot the girl in the head, Thurston said.

Investigators accused Duffell of killing Costa with a .45-caliber handgun near Courthouse Road and Salome Highway in Tonopah, court documents show.

One of the three handguns was recovered and was being held as evidence by police, but the other two have not been found. Along with his sentence, Duffell will owe restitution to the homeowner for the price of the two missing guns

Officers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety found Duffell walking along Interstate 10 near milepost 78 at about 7:30 a.m. Dec. 27, 2014, according to Buckeye police. Authorities said he had torn clothing and was dehydrated and disoriented.

Duffell told DPS officers he had been with Costa and last saw her at a truck stop near I-10 and 339th Avenue, Buckeye police said.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Duffell on Dec. 30, 2014.

In his sentencing hearing, Duffell accepted responsibility for his actions and did not make any excuses. He also read a letter he had written to the court as both his mother and Costa’s mother sniffled behind him.

“The Number One thing I would like to say is I’m sorry for what had happened,” Duffell read. “I’m sorry for the victim’s family, and I wish I could take it back.”

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