A woman convicted of killing a Hayward nursing student was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on Monday.
Giselle Esteban was convicted of first-degree murder surrounding the death of her former friend, Michelle Le. Le went missing from the Hayward hospital where she worked in May, 2011. Police arrested Esteban in September, and Le's remains were found shortly thereafter.
During the trial, prosecutors alleged that Esteban planned the murder after becoming suspicious that Le was having an affair with the father of Esteban's child.
Prosecutors presented video evidence of Esteban at the hospital parking lot before and after Le's disappearance, and police found traces of Le's blood inside Esteban's SUV and on one of her shoes. Phone records also showed Esteban and Le's cell phones traveling along the same route at the time of the murder.
According to the Associated Press, Esteban was sentenced after Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jon Rolefson said that he had never seen a case with stronger evidence of premeditation.
According to NBC, the judge used the word's "cold-blooded" in describing Esteban's perceived lack of remorse.
Before the sentencing, members of Le's family spoke to Esteban and the court, describing their family's loss.
"I miss everything about her," said a cousin.
"I feel broken and utterly incomplete without Michelle," said her brother, Michael, who has been a strong voice throughout the trial. "[Esteban] stalked and took Michelle's life because of an overactive imagination. Michelle did nothing wrong. Absolutely nothing."
Esteban's attorney reportedly did not dispute the murder, but rather argued, unsuccessfully, that the killing was committed in the heat of passion, and that Esteban should be charged with manslaughter.
"To make the decision to kill Michele Le was clearly proven, it was clearly premeditated," said the judge. "Nowhere have I seen or heard any hint of remorse."
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