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
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.