Miguel Figueroa is behind bars for the murder of his estranged wife, Olivia Figueroa, whose body was found in the desert area of the Heritage District in Maricopa, Arizona.
The couple had been married for over 20 years when they decided to separate. Olivia, 43, and their son moved out of the family home and moved in with a relative nearby, according to ABC 15.
On Dec. 10, 2016, Miguel believed there was hope for getting his family back together when they all went shopping together in Phoenix.
But when the trip came to an end, Olivia wanted to return to her relatives’ house instead of Miguel’s, which is when the then-45-year-old became angry.
At around 7 p.m. that same day, the Maricopa Police Department received several 911 calls from residents in the Maricopa Meadows subdivision near N. Loma Drive and W. McDavid Road.
They told dispatch that they heard Olivia screaming while her husband was beating her and forcing her into his truck at gunpoint.
Officers located Miguel outside a home on John Wayne Parkway and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway with a sword in his hand, and he was covered in blood.
His daughter told police officials that he said he killed Olivia and dumped her body in the desert.
Officers found Olivia’s body near Garvey and Roosevelt avenues. She had 35 stab wounds to her skull, chest, and arms.
Deputy County Attorney Kristen Sharifi told InMaricopa that “there was massive destruction to this woman’s body.”
Figueroa’s truck was also found at that same location, next to the victim’s body, with traces of her blood inside.
Figueroa was initially yelling at the officers to end his life, but he eventually dropped the sword, and they were able to take him into custody.
He was booked into the Pinal County Jail, where he was held on a $750,000 bond.
Figueroa was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated assault, and misconduct involving weapons.
Court records showed that he has a lengthy criminal record. He was in custody on a domestic violence assault charge just two weeks before he admitted to killing his wife.
Deputy County Attorney Kristen Sharifi said, “This was a man who was married to this woman for over 20 years. He should’ve been her protector. He should’ve taken care of her.”
“He had a chance while he was on probation to turn his life around to receive the help to better his life, to better Olivia’s life, but instead he let his anger overcome him and he took her out of this world.”
After Miguel was arrested, Maricopa Police Chief Steve Stahl released the following statement:
“Domestic violence is a continuing cause for concern within the City of Maricopa as well as throughout the country which will take everyone’s awareness and assistance to eliminate.”
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to those that are affected by this tragic event which led to the loss of their loved one.”
“I commend the first responding officers in their courage and restraint while taking Mr. Figueroa into custody without further loss of life.”
The trial was scheduled for July 2018, but Figueroa took a plea deal. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Pinal County Superior Court.
He then apologized for killing Olivia.
Figueroa told Pinal County Judge Kevin White that he “never planned for this to happen,” the Pinal Central reported.
In February 2018, a clinical psychologist stated that Figueroa suffered from depression throughout his life.
That same year, Figueroa was sentenced to life in prison. He will be eligible for parole after 25 years.