SAN DIEGO -- A woman who killed her 79-year-old mother in their Serra Mesa home, then dumped her body in a remote part of San Diego County where it wouldn't be found for nine days, was convicted today of first-degree murder.
Ghazal Jessica Mansury, 43, is expected to be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison at a hearing March 6.
Jurors returned their verdict after deliberating for just a few hours in the September 2013 death of Mehria Mansury.
"All throughout the trial I felt good about the jury we had both selected," said Paul Greenwood.
Deputy District Attorney Paul Greenwood said the defendant was “cold, calculated and clinical'' in the killing of her mother.
“Miss Mansury, unfortunately, did not like her mother,'' Greenwood said after the verdict. “And when the inflammatory point came of Mrs. Mansury (the victim) taking the dog away from her daughter, that caused clearly, some anger.''
The prosecutor said a lesson can be learned from the Mansury case. He urged members of the public to call Adult Protective Services if they suspect a family member is abusing an elderly relative. Unfortunately, such a call was not made in the Mansury case, he said.
"She murdered her mother in order to avoid detection of physical abuse," said Greenwood of Ghazal Mansury.
In his closing argument, Greenwood urged the jury to reject the defendant's claim that she got home from work on Sept. 23, 2013, and found her mother dead. A deputy medical examiner could not determine a cause of death because of insect and wild animal damage at the dump site, but did rule it a homicide, Greenwood said.
The prosecutor said Mansury lied to friends and family by telling them her mother went missing and that she didn't know where the older woman was.
Greenwood said Mansury was angry at her mother for various reasons, and called the victim a “bitch'' for getting rid of her dog.
Greenwood told the jury there was a “pushing match'' and “blood- letting'' incident before the murder, and Mansury did not want her mother going to a doctor's appointment the next day and revealing physical abuse, so she strangled the older woman with a bicycle tire inner tube.
An officer who went to the Amulet Street home on Sept. 24, 2013, was struck by the smell of bleach coming from a bathroom, Greenwood said.
Days after the victim went missing, Mansury told a friend that she killed her mother and dumped the body, Greenwood told the jury.
That friend ultimately told her ex-husband what the defendant had told her, and he called Crimestoppers. The victim's body was discovered Oct. 2 off Wildcat Canyon Road near Lakeside and the defendant was arrested shortly thereafter.
Mansury testified that she was gambling at Viejas Casino in Alpine a few hours after she learned her mother was dead, while her boyfriend and another man dumped the body.
The defendant blamed her behavior on methamphetamine use.
Defense attorney Brian Dooley argued that even though his client admitted dumping her mother's body, there was no evidence that she killed her. After her arrest, Mansury told her pastor that her mother's death was an accident, Dooley told the jury.
Ghazal Mansury is scheduled to be sentenced March 6.