SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was convicted today of killing his mother in her home and disposing of the victim's body in La Habra. Gabriel Antonio Espinoza, 32, Santa Maria, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of first degree murder. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life at his sentencing on June 2, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
In the early morning hours of July 17, 2014, Espinoza killed his mother, 58-year-old Emma Espinoza-Posadas, in her Lompoc home. The victim died of asphyxiation due to severe chest compression. Espinoza moved his mother's body to her car and drove south to La Habra.
On July 18, 2014, Espinoza disposed of Espinoza-Posadas' body behind a carport in a residential area of La Habra. Three days later on July 21, 2014, a passerby discovered the victim and called 911. The La Habra Police Department (LHPD) responded to the scene.
During the course of their investigation, LHPD identified Espinoza as a suspect and arrested the defendant in Santa Maria on Dec. 23, 2014.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Troy Pino of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.
Orange County District Attorney / Case # 14NF5173 / March 3, 2017