CRIME
10/30/2012 12:50 am ET

Giselle Esteban Guilty Of Killing Former Friend Michelle Le

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A 29-year-old woman in Union City, Calif., has been convicted of killing her former friend and dumping the body near the border of Sunol and Pleasanton, two northern California towns.

Giselle Esteban was found guilty of first-degree murder for killing nursing student Michelle Le by an Alameda County Jury Monday afternoon, NBC Bay Area reported.

Le's family hugged each other in the hallway after the verdict was read, and her brother, Michael Le, told reporters that he felt like a "burden had been lifted."

Le, a 26-year-old nursing student, disappeared last May from the parking lot of the hospital where she worked. Esteban, a former friend when the two women both lived in San Diego, was arrested as a person of interest in September 2011. Le's body was found near Pleasanton a few weeks later.

During the trial, Esteban's attorney, Andrea Auer, admitted her client killed Le, but argued Esteban should be found guilty of voluntary manslaughter, not murder, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

During the trial, prosecutors said that Esteban killed Le because she mistakenly believed the student was having an affair with Scott Marasigan, her ex-boyfriend and father of her six-year-old daughter.

Although Auer claimed Esteban killed Le out of passion, Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Butch Ford played a recording during his closing argument in which the accused can be heard telling Marasigan, "You deserve to die for your lies, as does she," San Mateo Patch reported.

GALLERY: GISELLE ESTEBAN TRIAL

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