Auburn Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for the Murder of His Girlfriend

February 08, 2018

R. Scott Owens

District Attorney

10810 Justice Center Drive, Suite 240
Roseville, California 95678


For Immediate Release
February 8, 2018

Contact: Jeff Wilson, Assistant District Attorney


Daniel Espinoza, 35, of Auburn, was sentenced today to 69 years to life in state prison in relation to the July 10, 2016, shooting death of his girlfriend and the mother of his child, Christine Rosales.

On October 19, 2017, Mr. Espinoza pled guilty to one count of Second Degree Murder and admitted to the use of a firearm in the commission of the murder. Espinoza also pled guilty to three counts of Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a police officer, and an enhancement for discharging a firearm.

Espinoza was attending a Quinceañera on July 10, 2016, with the victim. A verbal argument that began at the Quinceañera between the couple continued until they reached their residence. During the verbal argument Espinoza produced a.40 caliber hand gun and shot the victim in the head while she was on the ground, killing her instantly. Espinoza committed this murder while the couple’s 4 year old daughter was at home.

Espinoza then fled the scene and was located later that night at the Newcastle Cemetery by the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s deputies surrounded the defendant’s location. The defendant shot at the deputies until he ran out of ammunition. The deputies were able to arrest the defendant safely without any harm to Espinoza or to themselves.

At the sentencing hearing, the victim’s mom, Lisa Hurd, gave an emotional plea to the Court for the maximum sentence while standing next to a picture of her daughter, clutching a piece of her daughter’s baby blanket that she had kept. Hurd speaking of her daughter told the Court, “She was a daughter, a sister, a mother, in fact to sum it up she was a beautiful and real person that was taken from her family to soon. We will never see her again!”

Assistant District Attorney Jeff Wilson argued for a sentence of 69 years to life for not just the defendant’s horrific conduct, but also the impact his conduct had on the children of the victim. Wilson stated to the Court, “While the defendant may serve his time in a prison cell his daughter will be in an emotional prison for the rest of her life given what she heard and what she saw. All the children of Christine Rosales’s will suffer for the rest of their lives because of the defendant’s jealous anger.”

The District Attorney’s Office filed documents in support of the 69 years to life sentence. Deputy District Attorney Kalin Everett, who prosecuted the case with Wilson, outlined how Espinoza exploited the victim’s trust and her vulnerability. That and the fact that he left Christine’s body in the home for their four year old daughter to find, makes the case worthy of the 69 years to life sentence.