TRACY -- The engaged couple from Modesto and the 19-year-old from Tracy. The courageous teenager who crawled a half-mile along a desolate road in Livermore after a horrendous knife attack -- the couple named as the two who stabbed her.
On Valentine's Day, Gross and Leonardo appeared in court for their arraignment on murder charges. They chose not to enter pleas. But Gross did answer to one of FOX40's affiliate stations from behind bars and he told quite the tale about how Lizette Cuesta, the couple's co-worker, ended up dead.
"My sister was driving around letting her fiance have sex with another woman, that doesn't sound like her at all," said Montana Howland, a friend of Melissa Leonardo, 25, and Daniel Gross, 19, who are suspected in the brutal stabbing of Lizette Cuesta, 19.
Gross and Leonardo, both of Modesto, are suspected of stabbing Cuesta several times, tying her up and leaving her body on Tesla Road in Livermore.
The couple`s close friend, Howland, isn`t buying Gross's story -- that Leonardo had allowed him to be intimate with Cuesta, that Cuesta consented to being bound with the rope that investigators later discovered along Tesla Road and that she consented to having sex with Gross in the back seat of Leonardo's car -- all while Leonardo drove them around town.
"There`s something there that`s not clicking properly," said Howland.
Gross claimed that during that intimate encounter -- Cuesta elbowed him -- and that it made him snap.
Gross would not go into detail about stabbing her, but claimed that he acted in self defense.
But another woman we spoke with, one of Gross' ex-girlfriends, doesn't buy the love triangle tale either. She messaged us through Facebook, saying that Gross "doesn`t understand the word no."
The ex-girlfriend said Gross "lured people with a false sense of security and wouldn`t take no for an answer until you would just submit."
"What the poor girl`s family is going through, my condolences go to them all the way," said Howland.