Jeff Smith 2 p.m., Dec. 18
Murder suspect in custody three years with no evidence presented yet
David Leroy Lucero due for another mental competency hearing
A young man arrested on suspicion of killing his mother more than three years ago has not heard any evidence presented against him in the case yet.
David Leroy Lucero, now 28 years old, was taken into custody in Arizona after he reportedly fled San Diego County in March of 2010. The day before, on Tuesday March 9, his mother’s body was found stabbed to death in her own bed, according to Sheriff’s investigators.
A medical examiner stated the woman died of “stab wounds of left shoulder and chest” and her death was declared a homicide.
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 one investigator who spoke to surviving family members. Deputies reportedly found the door to the upstairs master bedroom damaged, as if it had been forced open, according to an affidavit.
The deceased woman’s husband reportedly found her when he arrived home the afternoon of March 9, in their sprawling mansion on three acres at 29312 Costalota Road, on a hill overlooking Valley Center in north San Diego County.
David M. Lucero 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 that he and his wife were both concerned because their son was mentally ill and had stopped taking his prescription medications. David M. Lucero is a medical doctor.
David M. Lucero told deputies that his namesake son had “called the family evil.”
Margo Jean Lucero had phoned deputies for help the evening of Monday March 8, reportedly asking deputies to take her son David away to a medical hospital. But responding officers declined to take the young man, because they did not find him to be a risk at that moment.
The family of the homicide victim has hired a private defense attorney to represent the one who is accused of the killing, which might be considered an unusual arrangement. Attorney Mark J. Geragos, who is known for his celebrity clients and has offices in Los Angeles, was hired before the defendant's first court appearance in April 2010.
Prosecutor Patrick Espinoza said that David Leroy Lucero was declared “not competent” and committed to a state mental hospital and that “criminal proceedings will be re-instated when he regains competency.”
David Leroy Lucero was in court earlier this month, and is scheduled for his next mental competency hearing on August 16, 2013, in San Diego’s downtown courthouse, before the Honorable Judge Joseph Brannigan.
More like this:
- Justice for mom found dead in bed — Sept. 22, 2014
- “Mental competency” of man accused of killing mom is questioned — June 25, 2013
- Valley Center man accused in mother's death due in court — Jan. 14, 2013
- Killer Left Advice for Sons Before He Committed Suicide — May 14, 2012
- I’m Competent; No, I’m Not — Sept. 29, 2010