General Crime

* Prosecutor Calls Giselle Esteban as a Sociopath, Asks Jury to Convict Her of Murder of Michelle Le

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A prosecutor today described Giselle Esteban as “a sociopath” and told jurors they should convict her of murder for the death of nursing student Michelle Le last year. During his closing argument this morning, Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Butch Ford replayed a conversation between Esteban and Scott Marasigan, the father of Esteban’s 6-year-old child, that Marasigan had secretly recorded in November 2010.

In the recording, Esteban can be heard telling Marasigan, “You deserve to die for your lies, as does she,” referring to Le. Ford has alleged that Esteban, 28, of Union City, killed Le out of a mistaken belief that she was having an affair with Marasigan. After playing the recording, Ford turned to the jury and described Esteban as a sociopath, saying she was “laughing and talking about killing people.” Defense attorney Andrea Auer objected to Ford’s use of the term “sociopath,” but the judge overruled the objection. Le, a 26-year-old San Mateo woman who attended Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, disappeared from the parking lot of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Hayward on May 27, 2011.

Her body was found four months later, on Sept. 17, 2011, in a remote area between Pleasanton and Sunol. Le and Esteban were high school friends in San Diego and both came to the Bay Area to attend college. Marasigan testified that he dated Le for about a month in the spring of 2003 but never had sex with her, although they remained friends after he started seriously dating Esteban later that year. Marasigan said he had a rocky relationship with Esteban and stopped living with her many years ago, although he admitted that he had sex with her as recently as February 2011.

Auer, who will present her closing argument later today, said in her opening statement that Esteban didn’t plan to kill Le but instead snapped as a result of “extreme provocation and heat of passion.” But Ford said today that Le was “a completely innocent victim in this case” and didn’t do anything to provoke Esteban. Esteban did not testify in the trial.

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Michelle Le

Michelle Le

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