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Giselle Esteban at the Hayward Hall of Justice in Hayward, Calif. on Monday, Sept. 19, 2011, in the courtroom on Judge Gary M. Picetti to enter a plea in the case of the murder of Michelle Le. She was appointed Attorney Andrea Auer and her hearing was postponed until Sept. 28, 2011. (Jim Stevens/Staff)

HAYWARD — The attorney for Giselle Esteban, suspected of killing nursing student Michelle Le, will seek bail for her client at a hearing next month.

Esteban did not appear at the Hayward Hall of Justice to enter a plea Wednesday because of medical reasons related to her pregnancy, attorney Andrea Auer said.

Auer, who has been appointed as Esteban's permanent counsel, postponed the plea until Oct. 24, at which time a bail hearing also will be held.

According to the state constitution, bail must be granted to all criminal defendants except those facing the death penalty or found to be an immediate danger to society, regardless of the crime they are accused of committing.

But for serious crimes such as murder, the guideline bail amount is $2.5 million, and it can be granted if a bail hearing is requested.

Auer would not discuss the basis for the bail hearing but said there's "always the glimmer of possibility" of bail being granted.

Esteban, 27, is accused of killing her onetime friend Michelle Le, 26.

Le disappeared while on a break from her duties at a Hayward hospital on May 27. Her body was found by a search team on Sept. 17 in a rural area near the Sunol-Pleasanton border.

Esteban was arrested Sept. 7, with investigators citing surveillance footage from the hospital's garage, Le's DNA on one of Esteban's shoes and cell phone records as key pieces of evidence in the case.


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Contact Eric Kurhi at 510-293-2473. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi. Read his blog at IBAbuzz.com/hayword.