Elizabeth Salaam 12:06 p.m., May 21
Valley Center man accused in mother's death due in court
David Leroy Lucero Jr. was sent away to a mental hospital in 2010
Margo Jean Lucero, 53, had been locking her bedroom door at night because she was afraid of her 25-year-old son David, according to investigators who found the woman deceased in her own bed, almost two years ago.
The young man’s father reportedly arrived home about 1 p.m. on March 9, 2010, and found his wife in the master bedroom of their sprawling mansion overlooking Valley Center, in a rural part of San Diego County. Investigators later reported finding the door to her room damaged, as if it had been forced open.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner said Margo Jean Lucero died of “stab wounds of left shoulder and chest” and declared her death a homicide.
David Lucero Sr. said he had last spoken to his wife about 10:30 the night before, according to Sheriff’s detective David Hillen. The husband told deputies they were both concerned that their son was mentally ill and had stopped taking his prescription medications; he described his son’s behavior as increasingly bizarre over the last two weeks, before his wife was found dead.
It was widely reported that Margo Jean Lucero had called for help the night of March 8, 2010, asking deputies to take her son David to a mental hospital. But the officers who responded to the home on Costalota Road reportedly declined to take the young man away.
The day after the body was discovered, on March 10, 2010, the fugitive son was arrested at an Indian reservation near Tucson, Arizona. The missing Mercedes which belonged to Margo Lucero was found about ten miles away, according to detective Hillen.
David Leroy Lucero Jr. is now in jail, with a court date set for Friday, January 25. This appearance is described as a mental competency hearing. The accused man was last in court in 2010, when he was declared mentally incompetent and sent away to a mental hospital; the criminal case was suspended.
Image: Home where mother was found overlooks Valley Center. Photo Weatherston.