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Friday, December 14 , 2018, 6:43 pm | Fair 58º


Sentencing Again Delayed For Santa Maria Man Convicted Of Killing His Mother

A Santa Maria man found guilty of killing his mother three years ago is seeking a new trial in Orange County Superior Court with his sentencing hearing now delayed until at least December.

Earlier this year, Gabriel Espinoza, 33, was convicted by an Orange County jury of murdering his mother, Emma Posadas-Espinoza, 58, in her Lompoc home three years ago.

Her body was dumped behind a carport in a residential area in the Orange County community of La Habra in July 2014.

The victim died of asphyxiation due to severe chest compression, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said. 

Law enforcement officers contend Espinoza moved his mother’s body to her car and drove south to La Habra on July 18, 2014.

Three days later, a passerby found the remains and alerted police. 

The woman’s missing car was found later parked on a Santa Maria street.

While Espinoza was found guilty of first-degree murder, the jury did not find as true that the son committed the crime for financial gain.

Following the March 3 verdict, sentencing has been delayed three times, including as recently as last Friday.

The case is set to return to court Dec. 8 when a motion for a new trial also is expected to be heard in a Santa Ana courtroom.

Orange County District Attorney’s Office representatives said Espinoza faced a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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