Florida pre-med student accused of fatally stabbing mother 70 times

A pre-med student of the University of Florida (UF) is now in the Polk County Jail, accused of murdering his mother. 

"It is one of the most bizarre murders that we've dealt with in a very long time," said Sheriff Grady Judd.

The Polk County sheriff provided video of the lead-up and audio of the aftermath in a case where the sheriff said a man stabbed his mother 70 times, then called 911 to turn himself in.

"I killed someone," a caller, the sheriff identified as Emmanuel Espinoza, told a dispatcher Saturday afternoon. "I stabbed my mom."

The caller and the killer is 21-year-old Emmanuel Espinoza – known as Manny, Judd said. He’s the youngest of three kids.

Courtesy: Polk County Sheriffs Office.

Elvia Espinoza (left) and her son, Emmanuel Espinoza (right) Courtesy: Polk County Sheriff's Office.

"He was described as being a genius, of being remarkably brilliant," Judd told reporters Monday. 

UF confirmed Espinoza is a student at their university.

Judd said Espinoza was a senior student on track to become a doctor, and that in high school he was the valedictorian. 

"He made the statement that he knew where to stab her for maximum effect because of his biology classes," Judd said.

The sheriff said Espinoza left Gainesville Saturday, and arrived at his mother’s place in Frostproof around 2 p.m.

A Ring doorbell camera showed Espinoza with what appeared to be a pocket knife in his hand as he approached the door.

Emmanuel Espinoza was captured on a Ring doorbell camera carrying what appeared to be a knife in his hands. (Polk County Sheriff's Office)

"The second she opened the door, he charged in and started stabbing her," Judd said.

Espinoza’s arrest affidavit said his mother, Elvia Espinoza, was on the phone with another one of her sons, Max, when she was attacked.

The report also said Max was able to access surveillance cameras inside the house, which caught audio of the stabbing, and later showed Espinoza washing blood from his hands and arms. 

Elvia Espinoza was a second grade teacher at Ben Hill Griffin Jr. Elementary School in Frostproof. 

Some who knew her told FOX 35 they were devastated at the news of her passing. Holly McCraw said she’s having trouble believing this incident is real.

"I don’t think you’ll know the impact you’ve had on this community, and how many people are going to love and miss you, how many people are hurt," she said of Ms. Espinoza. 

The Polk County school district told FOX 35 in a statement Ms. Espinoza was an amazing person whose passion and heart served as an inspiration.

Judd said the only explanation Espinoza gave for murdering his mother is that she annoyed him, and he’d wanted to do it for a long time. 

"No history of alcohol abuse or drug abuse. No history of mental health abuse or needs. No history of Baker acts. No arrest history, no problems at all," Judd said.

A spokesperson for the school district said it has counselors available at the elementary school and at Frostproof Middle-Senior, where Ms. Espinoza used to work as a secretary. 

Her son is in the Polk County jail with no bond, with a custody type labeled as "maximum."