Giselle Esteban, the 28-year-old mother convicted of slaying her former high school friend, this morning was given 25 years to life in prison for the murder of Michelle Le.
According to press reports, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jon Rolefson announced the sentence just six weeks after a jury had found Esteban guilty of first-degree murder. As he doled out her punishment, the judge noted that Esteban showed absolutely no remorse for killing 26-year-old Le, an East Bay nursing student.
In fact, Rolefson said this was one of the most cold-blooded murders over which he's presided.
Jurors deliberated for nearly five days in October before reaching a verdict that Esteban killed Le; prosecutors had argued that she targeted Le after she suspected she was having a romantic relationship with Scott Marasigan, the father of Esteban's 6-year-old daughter. Although the two had dated briefly several years ago, they remained friends -- and Esteban didn't like that, prosecutors said.
On May 27, 2011, Le left her nursing class at Kaiser Permanente to get something from her car parked in the lot; however, she never returned. Her body was found four months later near the Sunol Grade.
The cops had already arrested Esteban after finding traces of Le's DNA on her shoes and bloodstains inside Le's car, which was found a half-mile from Kaiser. During her trial, experts claimed that Esteban had some 300 Internet searches for Le's name on her computer. In addition, there were extensive searches for ways of inducing a heart attack without leaving a trace, how to follow someone without being caught, and how to break locks, deadbolts, and doors. There were also allegedly searches for potassium chloride and highly toxic gases, according to the testimony.
Esteban's attorney's admitted that she killed Le, but asked for a lighter sentence, saying she was provoked by Le and the crime was committed in the heat of passion. The jury rejected that notion, concluding that Esteban had planned the murder for months before acting on it.