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Former teacher sentenced to life for killing his wife

April 21, 2011 |  2:02 pm

Aaron Raigoza A former Los Angeles teacher was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for the murder of his estranged wife.

Alhambra Superior Court Judge Jared Moses sentenced Aaron Leonel Raigoza, 37, to a term of 19 years, plus a consecutive 50 years to life.

Raigoza pleaded guilty last August to the charge that he "personally and intentionally discharged" a firearm in 2008 that killed his wife, Ana Acosta, 32.

The employees of the Los Angeles Unified School District were in the midst of a divorce at the time of the shooting, authorities said.

Raigoza, of Alhambra, had been stalking Acosta with a global-positioning device and attacked her on Feb. 4, 2008, as she sat in her car in the 400 block of South Russell Avenue in Monterey Park, prosecutors said.

After Acosta was shot in the head, her car moved a short distance before crashing into another vehicle, and Raigoza fled the scene, authorities said.

After the killing, investigators named Raigoza as a person of interest in the investigation and began an intensive search to find him.

Detectives learned 24 days after the attack that Raigoza was hiding out at the Desert Sky Motel & R.V. Park in Yucca Valley. L.A. County sheriff's homicide detectives arrested Raigoza and booked him on suspicion of murder.

Raigoza also pleaded guilty to one count of assault with a semiautomatic firearm and an allegation of personal use of a firearm to commit murder.

After Acosta was shot, prosecutors said, a man ran out of his home thinking there had been a traffic accident. Seeing the man, Raigoza pointed the gun at him.

Under terms of a plea agreement, two other special circumstance allegations -- lying in wait and murder for financial gain -- were expected to be dismissed.

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-- Richard Winton

Photo: Aaron Raigoza.

Click to visit The Times' interactive Homicide Report

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