STEUBEN COUNTY, Ind. (21ALIVE) --- A plea agreement is reached in a Steuben County homicide case where the suspect was on the run for more than two decades.
It’s an investigation that led police half way around the world.
A big step took place Friday towards the resolution of a violent crime involving a love triangle and a suspect who evaded authorities for almost a quarter century.
47-year old Mahfuz Huq pleaded guilty in a Steuben County courtroom to voluntary manslaughter, in the 1989 stabbing death of 19-year old Todd Kelley.
The Herald-Republican newspaper reports Huq admitted in court that he and Kelley were dating the same woman, and that when he went to Kelley's home to confront him about it, Kelley produced a knife and stabbed Huq during a fight, before Huq wrestled the knife away and killed Kelley.
Defense lawyers believe manslaughter better reflects what happened than the original charge of murder.
" He waited outside, then when he went in, he was stabbed in the back, and he turned around and took the knife and stabbed Mr. Kelley," said defense lawyer Linda Wagoner.
Maybe the most fascinating part of the story is what happened after the crime itself.
Huq says he drove to work the next day, but before his shift was over, he hopped in his car, drove to Chicago, caught a plane to Canada, and then flew to Bangladesh, where he lived quietly as a teacher.
An Indiana State police officer who sank his teeth into the case, tracked his whereabouts.
But because the U.S. and Bangladesh don't have an extradition treaty, authorities waited until he took a trip to India in 2011 and nabbed him there.
" It’s always something that the gossip mill kept alive all these years, and of course, when he was arrested, it was a really big deal around here," said Amy Oberlin, a reporter for The Herald-Republican, who has covered the Huq proceedings.
Prosecutors and the Kelley family declined comment following Friday’s hearing.
If the plea is accepted, sentencing will take place in April.
The deal calls for a maximum executed sentence of 40 years.
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