Carmel Valley woman pleads guilty to stabbing her mother

A woman who fatally stabbed her 73-year-old mother during a quarrel in their Carmel Valley home last year pleaded guilty Jan. 20 to voluntary manslaughter.

Lara Epstein, 51, will be sentenced on Feb. 24 to 12 years in state prison.

Epstein, according to family members, had been dealing with some mental health issues. She moved into the Carmel Valley residence some time 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, 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.