OAKLAND, Calif. - A woman convicted of murdering nursing student and former San Diego resident Michelle Le in May 2011 was sentenced in Alameda County Superior Court Monday to 25 years to life in prison.
Before issuing the sentence against 28-year-old Giselle Esteban on Monday, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jon Rolefson said he had never seen a case with stronger evidence of premeditation.
Esteban, who attended Mount Carmel High School in Rancho Penasquitos with Le, was convicted in October.
Le, 26, was reported missing on May 27, 2011 in Hayward. Her remains were found in a remote area of Alameda County nearly four months later, several miles from the hospital where she was completing her clinical rotation.
Prosecutors said Esteban, of Union City, attacked Le in the parking garage of the hospital. According to grand jury testimony, Esteban had grown increasingly enraged at a friendship between the 26-year-old Le and Scott Marasigan, who has a young daughter with Esteban.
A defense lawyer had asked the jury to convict her of the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter because she said Le had provoked Esteban and that she acted in the heat of passion, according to Bay Area TV station ABC7 KGO.
Esteban told KGO in June 2011 that she hated Le because Le was friends with Marasigan. But Esteban denied having anything to do with Le's disappearance.
Both Esteban and Le attended were members of the school's Key Club at Mount Carmel High School and both ended up in the Bay Area after graduating from high school.