LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A man was sentenced in connection with the murder of a woman in 2019. Christopher Prestipino, 49, will spend at least ten years in prison before being eligible for parole, according to the Clark County District Attorney’s office. The maximum time he may serve is 25 years.
Prestipino entered an “Alford plea” for second-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping on March 13. While a defendant does not admit guilt through this type of plea, the defendant admits there is enough evidence for a conviction.
According to the plea agreement, prosecutors and Prestipino agreed to a 10 to 25 years sentence for the second-degree murder and five to 15 years for the kidnapping. The Clark County District Attorney’s office also agreed for the counts to run concurrent to each other. Prestipino will get 1,218 days credit for time served.
Clark Country District Court Judge Carli Kierney followed the terms of the plea agreement.
A jury trial was set to begin for murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy to commit murder and kidnapping charges the day Prestipino entered the plea.
Prestipino killed 24-year-old Esmeralda Gonzalez in 2019, according to Las Vegas Metro Police. Homicide detectives said that he gave the woman the illegal drug methamphetamine, tied her up and strangled her.
Prestipino and his roommate, Casandra Garrett then injected Gonzales with pool cleaner, police said. The woman’s body was later found in cement in a desert area.
In a motion filed the day before his sentencing, Prestipino and his defense team said that information suggests that Garrett injected Gonzales with the pool cleaner, not Prestipino.
“It should be noted that the reason the case went from a missing persons case to homicide investigation is due to a witness…calling in a Crimestopper Tip after hearing Cassandra Garrett admit that she injected the victim with pool cleaner,” the motion stated.
Garrett took a plea deal, according to court records. An amended indictment reveals a charge for voluntary manslaughter with the use of a deadly weapon. Garrett, 43, remains in the Clark County Detention Center on a $500,000 bond and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 23.
In a five page letter to the judge, Garrett wrote that she struggled with drug addiction, accepts responsibility for the charges of which she is guilty, and agonizes over what she could have or should have done. She does not directly admit to killing Gonzales in the letter.
Prestipino’s girlfriend, Lisa Mort also agreed to a plea deal in 2020. She pleaded guilty to being an accessory to the murder. Mort was sentenced 24 to 60 months and given 151 days credit for time served, according to the Nevada Department of Corrections. She was sent to prison in April of 2020, released on parole in December of that year and then discharged from NDOC entirely in February of 2022.