FLORENCE — A Maricopa man apologized for stabbing his wife to death 35 times before he was sentenced Monday to life in prison.
“I never planned for this to happen,” Miguel Figueroa told Pinal County Judge Kevin White.
The 46-year-old defendant pleaded guilty last month to the first-degree murder of his wife, Olivia, who was found dead in December 2016 from numerous stab wounds to her body.
According to court documents, one of the stabs punctured through Figueroa’s skull and pierced her brain. She sustained another 25 stabs to her chest.
Deputy Pinal County Attorney Kristen Sharifi said “massive destruction” was done to the victim’s body, arguing this wasn’t an isolated incident, but rather the climax to the couple’s tumultuous, violent relationship.
On the day of the murder, witnesses reported hearing a woman screaming inside a truck driving erratically in the Maricopa Meadows subdivision.
The truck was later found covered in blood.
A trail of blood near the truck led investigators to find the victim’s body.
Figueroa’s daughter claims her father told her he killed Olivia and that he wouldn’t let the police take him alive.
Authorities later found Figueroa covered in blood and holding a sword outside a residence on West Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway. He was later detained, and a black knife with reddish stains was found during a search of the residence.
Figueroa admitted to drinking on the day of the murder, court documents show, and to abusing methamphetamine in his past.
Mark Benson, the defense attorney, said if this case had gone to trial then he would have argued that this was a “crime of passion.”
Sharifi said the defendant’s children have not forgiven Figueroa for his actions and never want to speak to him again. Olivia Figueroa’s death has been especially hard on her daughter, who gave birth to her first child shortly after the homicide.
“She’s never going to be able to call her mother when her baby’s sick in the middle of the night and ask her advice. It’s not possible,” the prosecutor said.
Vicky Villarreal, one of the victim’s family members, told the court she warned the defendant not to keep bothering Olivia after the victim had moved out.
More than a year after Olivia’s murder, Villarreal she said she’s tried moving on but she just loved Olivia so much.
“I really miss her a lot,” Villarreal said. “I’m always thinking about her every day.”
White sentenced Figueroa to six years in prison for an aggravated assault charge, followed by a life sentence for Olivia’s murder. He will have the chance to be eligible for parole after serving 25 years of the life sentence.
He was additionally sentenced to another 2.5 years for violating his probation at the time of the murder, but was credited for time he’s already served at the Pinal County jail.
Delton Manuel, the victim’s older brother, said his family doesn’t completely agree with the sentence, as it seemed there was enough evidence to convict Figueroa to life without the chance of parole. But maybe it’s time to just “let it rest,” he added.