Another juror has been dismissed in the Michelle Le murder trial. There are now six men and six women sitting in judgment of murder suspect Giselle Esteban. There are also two alternate jurors just in case. Eight times a day, at the beginning of the session, during breaks and at the end of the day, the defendant stands up and faces the jury as they pass within inches of her every time that they enter and leave the courtroom.
In the beginning some of the jurors glanced in her direction. In a few cases they would make eye contact with the defendant or even nod in her direction. However, as the evidence mounts against her, I detect a perceptible change in jury demeanor. Now they avoid the defendants gaze as they grimly pursue the task of passing judgment. I understand their hesitance. After all, who wants to stare into the vacant eyes of an empty soul?
All four of the witnesses who testified today are employees of the Hayward Police Department. Another Inspector, a crime analyst, and a crime scene evidence collection expert all testified to the methodology behind the evidence, the chain of custody, and the linkage between individual elements. By the time they were done we knew where and when Michelle died, whose vehicle was used to dispose of her body, and the route that was travelled by that vehicle. We knew that the defendant was obsessive and jealous beyond reason. As the details of an ill-conceived murder plot were laid out for all to see, we finally understood that as surely as the sun rises in the morning and sets at night, that time was rapidly running out for Michelle Le.
As the evidence mounts against her Giselle Esteban’s emotional state in the months leading up to Michelle’s murder is becoming clear. She believed that everything wrong with her life could be attributed to Michelle. If Michelle was out of the picture then Scott (Marasigan) would love her, they would be a family and raise their daughter together, they would vacation in Cancun, and drape tinsel on their Christmas tree every year.
The only problem with that fantasy scenario is that Giselle Esteban is obsessive beyond reason. She was/is a stalker whose mind was muddled by dark visions that had no basis in reality. We know this because her trail of breadcrumbs is documented in photographs, text messages, video and audio recordings, cell phone records, cell tower analysis, and an inept effort to distort the truth in interviews and commentary.
It’s not a coincidence that often times the only person sitting on her side of the courtroom is her father, who sits quietly as the truth about his bad seed is revealed in excruciating detail.