After pleading guilty to stabbing his wife to death, Miguel Figueroa, 47, of Maricopa was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of “earning” parole after 25 years.
Pinal County Superior Court Judge Kevin White called Figueora’s actions in 2016 a “horrific offense” and said the harm done was “palpable in the courtroom.”
A family member of Olivia Figueroa made an emotional plea to the judge asking him to sentence her cousin’s killer to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“We all miss her. I’ll never ever forgive him. Nobody will,” she said.
Deputy County Attorney Kristen Sharifi said Olivia Figueroa suffered around 35 stab wounds, with the weapon penetrating her skull and her heart.
“There was massive destruction to this woman’s body,” Sharifi said.
Figueroa told White he was sorry for what he had done and was willing to pay the price. “Lord have mercy on my soul,” he said.
But Figueroa’s life sentence does not begin until after he has served time for attempted aggravated assault on his son and for a parole violation. White sentenced Figueroa to six years for the assault and 2.5 for the parole violation, to be served consecutively. He is credited with 554 days already served behind bars.
A mitigating factor for the judge was the fact that Figueroa pleaded guilty and took responsibility for the crime, sparing his children a trial.
Figueroa’s two adult children’s absence during sentencing Monday afternoon was much discussed by prosecution and the defense.
“At this point they don’t ever want to speak to him again,” Sharifi said.
The events leading up to the Dec. 10 murder of Olivia Figueroa in 2016 were detailed by defense attorney Mark Benson.
Olivia and her son were living separately from Miguel in a family member’s home.
After a family shopping trip concluded in Phoenix, Miguel allegedly became angry with Olivia when she reportedly refused to return with Miguel to his home.
The son, also a witness, allegedly told prosecution this “infuriated” his father, Sharifi said.
The Maricopa Police Department soon began receiving emergency calls from residents in a neighborhood hearing a woman being beaten in a truck.
Olivia was later found stabbed to death in a desert area of the Heritage District.
“This was a man who was married to this woman for over 20 years. He should’ve been her protector. He should’ve taken care of her. He had a chance while he was on probation to turn his life around to receive the help to better his life, to better Olivia’s life, but instead he let his anger overcome him and he took her out of this world,” Sharifi said.
Benson said had the case gone to trial, he would have likely used a “crime of passion” defense.
A report from a clinical psychologist in February of this year did not include reports of anger management issues. However, the report stated Figueroa said he’s suffered from depression all his life and has “always entertained thoughts of suicide” since a young age.
The report also stated Figueroa had a history of experiencing auditory hallucinations and narcotic drug use.