On Tuesday, Giselle Esteban, the 27-year-old woman accused of murdering Michelle Le, was formally indicted by a grand jury.
Le, a 26-year-old nursing student, disappeared in May from the parking lot of the hospital where she worked. Esteban, a former friend of Le, was arrested as a person of interest in September, and Le's body was found near Pleasanton a few weeks later.
Esteban, who delivered a child earlier this month, has delayed her trial on several occasions due both to her pregnancy and to the fact that she has not entered a plea. Prosecutors vastly expedited the trial on Tuesday with the grand jury indictment, which eliminates a preliminary hearing. Mercury News reported that prosecutors sought the indictment to avoid further delays.
According to Mercury News, Esteban's attorney Andrea Auer said that grand juries are used in "less than one percent of garden variety criminal cases" and that it would deprive her of "the opportunity to see and hear the witness testimony against her and the ability to cross-examine and confront the witnesses."
Auer moved to delay the arraignment until February, citing that the case is a "more complicated homicide than usual," but she was only granted a four-week extension.
According to police documents and court records, video survellience cameras at the hospital show Esteban in the parking lot on the night of Le's disappearance, and GPS evidence shows that Le and Esteban's cell phones traveled along the same path immediately after Le went missing. Hayward police also reported that Le's blood was found on Esteban's shoe. Statements from Esteban suggest that Le may have been involved with Scott Marasigan, Esteban's former lover and the father of her 5-year-old daughter.