John Norton had finished running errands and was walking into his Tonopah home on Monday when he was stopped at the front door by his teen daughter.
She warned him that if he came inside he would be killed.
Norton ignored her plea and moved her aside — only to be confronted by her older boyfriend, Daniel Stroh.
In a single shot to the head with a .45-caliber Colt revolver, authorities claim, Stroh murdered Norton in cold blood.
The crime allegedly started in a saga of forbidden teenage love. The 15-year-old girl, whose name was not released, had convinced her 21-year-old boyfriend that her adoptive father was preventing them from being together, according to court records filed on Tuesday by Maricopa County Sheriff's Office investigators.
Norton, 59, had banned his daughter from seeing Stroh because of their age difference. After Stroh repeatedly disobeyed him and showed up at the house despite his objections, Norton called the police and had Stroh arrested.
That was the final straw for Norton's angst-ridden teenage daughter.
Last Friday, she snuck Stroh into her house while her family members were away. She told him she was so angry with her father for keeping them apart, she was considering suicide.
That's when she suggested Stroh "take care of the problem" and retrieved the handgun "from the couch" in her home, records state.
Over the weekend, the young couple plotted how they would murder Norton, investigators believe. Norton had a scheduled visit to the Arizona Department of Economic Security on Monday morning, and the couple planned to surprise him when he got home.
At 8 a.m. on Monday, Norton took his 13-year-old daughter and 7-month-old granddaughter to a DES office. Stroh arrived at the house at about that time, carrying the gun his girlfriend had given him.
When Norton arrived back home at 10:45 a.m. his older daughter, seemingly having second thoughts about her plan, warned him not to come in the house, records state.
But once Norton walked through the door, Stroh made his fateful decision and fired the gun. Norton fell backwards, his body half in the kitchen, half in the hallway.
Leaving the body behind, Stroh and both sisters took the baby and left the scene at 373rd Avenue and Buckeye Road. They disposed of the gun in the desert on Wintersburg Road, somewhere between Interstate 10 and Indian School Road, MCSO investigators concluded. The weapon hasn't yet been found.
Two hours passed before the 15-year-old daughter called the police to report the murder — after she sought advice from her mother. Shortly after, Stroh's grandmother also called the sheriff's office about the crime.
The teen didn't immediately admit to helping plan the murder. She told investigators that when her father came home, he got into an argument with Stroh.
She said after Stroh shot her father, he pointed the gun at her, and that she ran from him and hid in the house, records state.
Stroh, who willingly came to an MSCO substation with his grandmother, said his girlfriend told him that if he didn't shoot her father, she would do it herself and then commit suicide.
Stroh's grandmother informed the MSCO that Stroh has a learning disability but understood the situation. During the interview, detectives confirmed that Stroh understood the difference between right and wrong as well as his Miranda rights.
Stroh was booked on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and tampering with evidence.
His girlfriend was taken to the Durango Juvenile Detention Facility with similar charges. Officials with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office have not yet been decided if she will be charged as an adult. The MCSO is withholding her name, for now.
Stroh has a Facebook account confessing his love for one young woman through dozens of memes that vary in affection from "Your lips? I kiss that. Your body? I hug that. My smile? You cause that. Your heart? I own that," to more sexually proactive posts like, "Hold her hand in public and her throat in private. But smack her ass everywhere."
MCSO Sergeant Joaquin Enriquez could not confirm or deny that Stroh's girlfriend is the young woman on Stroh's Facebook site. A Facebook message sent to the woman on Tuesday was not answered. That site, as well as another Facebook site that appears to have been created by the young woman, states that the two were married in 2015.
A third site dedicated to "Daniel Stroh (coolest boyfriend ever)" also features the couple. The site's intro phrase reads, "I want my soul to be gone."
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The same young woman also posted about having a daughter. MCSO reports confirm that the 7-month-old child involved was the 15-year-old's baby.
Last month, the woman posted to Stroh's Facebook wall that she trusts him with everything.
"This man would kill for me," she wrote. "He holds me through my fears never lets anyone disrespect me he takes care of me."
Stroh replied, "Yeah it's all true."