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Son knocks on mom’s door, stabs her 70 times, Florida cops say. ‘She got on my nerves’

In World
April 08, 2024

A University of Florida premed student stabbed his mother “in excess of 70 times” when she answered her front door, and his motive caught detectives off guard, Florida officials say.

“He said: ‘You know I have wanted to kill my mother for many, many years because she got on my nerves,’” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a video posted April 6 to Facebook.

“Then we asked him: What’s your relationship with your mother? He said: ‘About an 8 and out of 10,’ that he really loved her. But she irritated him and he made up his mind today on his way from Gainesville that he would murder her. And that’s exactly what he did.”

The victim has been identified as 46-year-old Elvia Espinoza, a mother of three and a second grade teacher at Ben Hill Griffin Elementary School in Frostproof, officials said.

Investigators say the killing happened around 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, at her home in Frostproof, about a 165-mile drive southeast from Gainesville, where the UF campus is located.

Doorbell camera video shows Emmanuel Espinoza, 21, approached the home with a knife hidden behind his back and tried to get in without knocking.

“The second she opened the door, he charged in and started stabbing her,” Judd said during a news conference.

“He made the statement that he knew where to stab her for maximum effect because of his biology classes. … He stabbed her in excess of 70 times.”

Judd added that “it was one of the most bizarre murders that we’ve dealt with in a very long time.”

Emmanuel Espinoza has been charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence, jail records show.

He called 911 and confessed to the operator who answered, officials said.

“He was coming from Gainesville to Frostproof for a family event for a grandparent this week, and he asked his mom if he could stay with her,” Judd said.

“He arrived about 2 o’clock … he knocked on the front door and when mom opened the door he began to stab her and he stabbed her many times. She ran from him. She was talking to a family member on the phone and … he stabbed her until she fell down and died.”

The suspect was the 2020 Frostproof Senior High valedictorian with a 4.5 GPA, officials said.

He was in his fourth year at the University of Florida, and intended to be a medical doctor, officials said.

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