Woman to stand trial for mother’s murder
SAN DIEGO — A Serra Mesa woman accused of killing her mother and dumping the 79-year-old woman’s body in a remote location on the Barona Indian Reservation must stand trial for murder, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Ghazal Mansury, 42, faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted in the death last September of Mehria Mansury, who shared her Amulet Street home with the defendant.
The victim went missing last Sept. 23. Her body was found nine days later in a remote area east of the Barona Casino & Resort, near Ramona.
A neighbor, Denise Lattizzori, testified during the three-day preliminary hearing that the defendant argued constantly with the victim.
Lattizzori, who lived across the street from the Mansurys, said she stopped visiting the home after Mehria Mansury’s husband died and the defendant moved in.
“I didn’t like her,” Lattizzori said of the defendant.
The witness testified Tuesday that the mother, who kept her house very neat and clean, complained about her daughter’s clutter.
“The two of them would argue so often,” Lattizzori testified.
San Diego police Officer Daniel McLaughlin testified that in 2011, Mehria Mansury asked for advice on how to get the defendant’s boyfriend’s car out of her driveway.
McLaughlin said the widow didn’t want to antagonize her daughter or her boyfriend.
“She (the mother) had some fear for her physical safety,” the officer testified. “She told me she was scared of the boyfriend and/or her daughter.”
After the victim’s body was found last October, police took the defendant into custody for questioning.
She was later released, then arrested the next day as she and her boyfriend left a friend’s house in City Heights.
Defense attorney Mehrdad Ghassemkhani told Judge Margie Woods that there wasn’t enough evidence to link his client to her mother’s murder.
He argued the “rocky relationship” between mother and daughter wasn’t enough to hold Ghazal Mansury for trial.
The home the mother and daughter shared was a known drug house, and others could be responsible for Mehria Mansury’s death, he said.
But prosecutor Paul Greenwood told the judge that the defendant referred to her mother as “the bitch” and told detectives that she removed her mother’s body from the house and then dumped it east of the Barona Casino & Resort.
Internet searches were done on the defendant’s laptop looking for “crime scene investigations,” “how to clean blood stains,” and “homicide,” the prosecutor said.
Greenwood said others — including the defendant’s boyfriend — may have been involved in the murder.
The victim’s blood was found in the trunk of a car and in the Serra Mesa home, according to evidence produced at the hearing.
The judge noted the defendant was the only family member who was calm when police investigated her mother’s disappearance.
A woman who lives in the remote area where Mehria Mansury’s body was found Oct. 2 said she saw the defendant driving near there on Sept. 24 or Sept. 25.
According to court testimony, the defendant gambling card was used around 4 a.m. on Sept. 25 at a casino 15 miles from where the body was dumped.
The judge — in binding the defendant over for trial — noted that one witness said Mehria Mansury told her that her daughter beat her.
The defendant — who’s being held in lieu of $2 million bail — is due back in Superior Court on March 20 for arraignment.