Ghazal Mansury denies killing 79-year-old mother

Daughter ordered to trial for mom's murder

Ghazal Mansury
  • Ghazal Mansury

Late yesterday, March 5, a judge ordered Ghazal Jessica Mansury, 42, to stand trial for the murder of her mother, Mehria Mansury, 79.

Testimony during a three-day hearing suggested that Mehria might have been killed as she sat in her favorite chair in front of the TV the night of September 23. Blood stains from the chair, and nearby mail and wall, were all DNA-matched to Mehria.

Daughter Ghazal Mansury lived in the garage of her mother’s home on Amulet Street with her boyfriend, Lucio Moreno. Both the daughter and boyfriend were interviewed by investigators; Moreno was released. Moreno was called into court this week to testify, but he pleaded the Fifth Amendment and declined to answer questions.

Both Ghazal Mansury and her boyfriend Moreno have criminal records.

The brother of Mehria Mansury said he last visited with his sister on the afternoon of September 23; at that time, he noticed her right eye was swollen and red and asked about it, but she waved it off, saying it was an allergy. The next day, Mehria did not answer her phone or the door; the family reported her missing on September 25.

Thomas Bennett found the body

Thomas Bennett found the body

Investigators got two tips to search an area of the Barona Indian reservation. A retired sheriff’s deputy named Thomas Bennett volunteered, and after searching all day, on the afternoon of October 2 he spotted a body in a dry gulley near Wildcat Canyon Road. The decomposing body was in a faded nightgown.

Earlier that day, the morning of October 2, a detective followed Ghazal Mansury to a pawn shop, where she left a box of her mother’s jewelry. Ghazal was crying and said that her mother “had passed” and that she might need the money from the jewelry for her own “defense,” according to witnesses.

Ghazal Mansury was arrested the next day and has been held in Las Colinas women’s jail. She pleads not guilty to one charge of murder and is next due in court to set a date for trial on March 20.

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If memory serves, she didn't look too upset when she was taken away in the back of a police cruiser.

Yes. It was a long week the family waited, while Mehria was presumed missing and hopefully not worse, and many witnesses reported inappropriate behavior from daughter Ghazal. Cousin Mohammad Salihie said he found Ghazal "jolly" when he showed up at the house on Amulet Street, after he heard that his aunt Mehria had disappeared. "I was pretty surprised" at his cousin's "lack of concern," he told the judge this week.

Without knowing more details, I'd wonder why they let the BF go free and arrested her. He could have dunnit, and she might have not really cared. But this case suggests that actions after the crime by a suspect go a long way toward filing charges and getting a conviction.

Investigators have not revealed all the results of DNA testing ordered, so far. But it was stated that DNA of boyfriend Lucio Moreno was found on one of the clean-up-bottles of bleach, according to testimony. Evidence suggested there was careful cleaning of the downstairs bathroom -- the only clean room in the home, according to many witnesses.

Since he won't testify, the obvious next step would be for the DA to charge him with being an accessory. But with this DA, who knows?

The hearing this week was to see if prosecutor Paul Greenwood had enough evidence against defendant Ghazal Mansury, for the judge to order the case to go forward. And the deputy DA carefully built his case with more than 30 witnesses and 70 exhibits, and a detailed timeline for the judge to see all the pieces organized. It remains to be seen if this prosecutor, or another, is building a case against anyone else.

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