In an effort to make the trial process "more efficient," Alameda County prosecutors had a three-day grand jury hearing last week in the murder case of Michelle Le and obtained a grand jury indictment of Le's former friend Giselle Esteban something which will allow the court to skip over any preliminary hearings regarding the sufficiency of evidence. Prosecutor Butch Ford presented the 470-page transcript of the hearing at a Superior Court hearing yesterday, but the transcript will remain sealed for now.
Esteban is the prime suspect in Le's murder, and she has been under arrest since September 8. Le's body was found shortly after, in a remote area between Pleasanton and Sunol on Sept. 17. Le disappeared from Kaiser-Permanente medical center in Hayward on May 27.
Since her arrest, Esteban has used a recent pregnancy to delay court proceedings, claiming medical issues that prevented her from appearing in court. She gave birth while in custody in late November, and it is unclear who the father is.
You'll recall that the father of Esteban's first child, now age 5, is at the center of the conflict that split up Esteban and Le's friendship. Esteban admitted as much to reporters shortly after Le's disappearance, saying she "hated" Michelle, but denying that she killed her.
Esteban's next appearance in court will be for an arraignment and entry of a plea on January 20.