Daughter to be sentenced in fatal mother’s quarrel


Lara Epstein

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SAN DIEGO — A woman who beat and fatally stabbed her 73-year-old mother during a quarrel in their Carmel Valley home last year is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday at the downtown courthouse.

Lara Epstein, 51, pleaded guilty last month to voluntary manslaughter and agreed to a 12-year prison sentence.

Epstein, according to family members, had been dealing with some mental health issues. She moved into the Carmel Valley condominium sometime before killing Svetlana Gurinova, and there was tension between the mother and daughter, said Deputy District Attorney Scott Pirrello.

Last June 16, while other family members were out of town, the defendant called to say there was some kind of problem, Pirrello said. Police were called about 10:30 p.m. and found the victim on the laundry room floor.

Authorities said Gurinova had stab wounds to the head, neck and chest and had been severely beaten. Plastic bags were covering the victim’s head and feet, and an effort had been made to clean up the scene, Purrello said.

A large kitchen knife and a metal meat tenderizer mallet were found in the home, both of which were believed to have been used in the killing, the prosecutor said.

Epstein, who was born in Russia but is a U.S. citizen, made some “rambling” statements to police and was arrested at the scene, he said.

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