According to her defense attorney’s closing arguments on January 26, Ghazal Mansury went to open the bathroom door, knocked over her mom, and then asked if she was okay; her mom said, “Yes,” so Ghazal went to work and came home later and found her mom dead on the bathroom floor.
The body of
Defense attorney Brian Dooley
Mehria Mansury, 79, was found in a remote part of San Diego’s East County in October of 2013. The body was in a shallow ravine near a dirt road on the Barona Indian reservation; parts of her body were missing due to animal activity, experts testified.
Concerned family members had reported the elderly woman missing about a week earlier. Ghazal Mansury, who lived in the garage of her mother’s home on Amulet Street with her convicted-felon boyfriend, at first suggested that her mother had gone for a walk and then failed to come home.
During a three-week murder trial this month, Ghazal Mansury, now 44, took the witness box to tell the jury that it was all a terrible accident. Ghazal admitted that at the time she was “drug addled” and “I wasn’t thinking right.”
Ghazal Mansury said, “When I was high on drugs I would be less patient, I wouldn’t be myself.” And, “I was so messed up on drugs, that I wouldn’t see her side of her situation.”
In the witness box, Ghazal admitted putting her mother’s dead body into the trunk of her mother’s car and, just before, “I gave her a kiss, right on her forehead.”
A police detective previously testified that Ghazal had admitted putting her mother into the trunk, plus the suspect accurately described the clothing that was eventually found on the body.
Prosecutor Paul Greenwood
During trial, prosecutor Paul Greenwood produced a witness who said that Ghazal described strangling her mother with an inner tube from a bicycle’s tire; investigators had found a large number of inner tubes and other bicycle parts in the garage where Ghazal lived. The same witness said she understood that Ghazal wanted to prevent her mother from going to a medical appointment the following day, because Ghazal had inflicted injuries to her mother in prior altercations.
“Ghazal was angry at her mother for various reasons,” prosecutor Greenwood said.
Ghazal commonly referred to her mother as “the bitch,” according to multiple witnesses and her own handwritten notes.
Defense attorney Brian Dooley admitted to the jury that defendant Ghazal “is not likeable” and that she has “done some bad things.” But he pointed out that the body was in such a state that cause of death could not be determined, and Dooley asserted that prosecution had not met its burden of proof.
The jury of four women and eight men heard the case before Superior Court judge Jeffrey Fraser in San Diego’s downtown Hall of Justice. Deliberations began just before noon yesterday, January 26.