© Al Seib / Los Angeles Times / July 17, 2013Moises Meraz-Espinoza, left, appears with his attorney, Jonathan Roberts, in a Norwalk courtroom. Meraz-Espinoza was convicted of first-degree murder in June.
Moises Meraz-Espinoza walked into the Huntington Park Police Department two years ago to report a crime: He had killed his mother.
Officers went to the Maywood apartment that the then-18-year-old factory worker shared with his mother, Amelia Espinoza, 42, and found a gruesome scene. A trail of blood led to the bathroom, where plastic covered the walls and floor. There, they found an electrical circular saw with pieces of bone, blood and flesh stuck to the blade.
Nearby, in a freezer, police found skin and muscles stored in plastic bags. The woman's skull, with all her teeth plucked out, her eyes removed and two upside-down crosses carved into the bone, was stashed in a backpack.
Prosecutors say that Meraz-Espinoza strangled his mother and then skinned, filleted and dismembered her body as part of a satanic ritual. A Norwalk jury convicted him of first-degree murder in June.
On Wednesday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Thomas I. McKnew Jr. sentenced Meraz-Espinoza to 25 years to life in prison, saying that the slaying "certainly ranks up there at the top" of "the most disgusting, hideous and vulgar" cases he has seen during his 50 years in the legal profession.
"I don't know what I can say to turn your life around, but you'll have a lot of time to think about it," McKnew said.