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UF student in custody after sheriff's office says he stabbed mother to death

A pre-med student at the University of Florida is in police custody after he confessed to stabbing his mother to death over the weekend.

Emmanuel Espinoza, 21, drove from Gainesville to his mother's house in Frostproof in Polk County on for a family event.

When his mother opened the door for him, Espinoza stabbed her multiple times in the doorway, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office. Authorities said he then stabbed her again after she tried to run away.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Espinoza called 911 immediately afterward and confessed.

“He said, ‘You know, I have wanted to kill my mother for many, many years because she got on my nerves. Then we asked him, ‘What’s your relationship with your mother?’ And he said, ‘About an 8 out of 10’. That he really loved her, but she irritated him,” Judd said in a video posted to Facebook.

Judd said the victim, 46-year-old Elvia Espinoza, was a beloved member of the community.

“Mom is a second-grade teacher at Ben Hill Griffin Elementary School and is well loved by the community. It’s a very sad day with an inexplicable, vicious murder,” Judd said.

Espinoza has been charged with first-degree murder.

Áine Pennello is a multimedia reporter and Morning Edition news anchor for the College’s Innovation News Center. She has a background in video news and documentary and most recently worked at WCBS Newsradio in New York City covering local news and the tri-state area. She has also reported internationally, freelancing from Paris and Berlin during the Syrian refugee crisis. During the Syrian Civil War, Pennello reported from the Golan Heights while on a reporting grant from the International Center for Journalists.