A Southern California woman who bludgeoned her mother to death with a meat tenderizer and stabbed her in the chest has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Lara Epstein, 51, of Carmel Valley, pleaded guilty earlier to voluntary manslaughter in the death of her 73-year-old mother.
Epstein's mother, Svetlana Gurinova, was found dead the night of June 16, 2015, inside her home on Carmel View Road. Officers and paramedics opened the door to find Epstein standing in the living room, authorities said. She directed them to her mother's lifeless body.
U.S. & World
Deputy District Attorney Scott Pirrello said authorities found plastic bags covering the woman's head and feet. There had apparently been an effort to clean up the scene. A large kitchen knife and metal meat tenderizer mallet were found in a trash bag next to Gurinova's body, prosecutors said.
Homicide investigators said Gurinova suffered lacerations and massive blunt force trauma to her body. She had apparently been hit over the head with the meat tenderizer and stabbed several times in the neck and chest, prosecutors said.
The motive of the killing was never clear, though family members reported a strained relationship between mother and daughter, according to prosecutors. They also said Epstein had a history of mental health issues.