David Lucero is older and paler.
  • David Lucero is older and paler.
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Jury selection continues Monday, March 19 in the much-delayed trial of David Leroy Lucero Jr., now 33, who is accused of murdering his mother eight years ago, in the home they shared in Valley Center.

Dr. David Lucero from his Facebook page.

Margo Jean Lucero, 53, died of “stab wounds of left shoulder and chest,” according to a medical examiner’s report. She was found deceased in her own bed the afternoon of March 9, 2010. Deputies reported that the door to her bedroom appeared to have been forced open. Her purse and car keys were missing.

Margo Lucero’s car and her son David Leroy Lucero Jr. were found in Arizona the next day. The key to her car reportedly had Margo’s blood on it.

Mark Geragos from his web site.

David Lucero Jr. pleads not guilty by reason of insanity. The jury will first deliberate the guilty-or-not-guilty portion of the trial, and if the accused man is found guilty of murder, then the jury will hear evidence in a second trial to determine sane-or-not-sane. The legal definition of sane is not the same as a medical finding.

Photo of David Lucero, Jr. released by sheriff when he was a fugitive.

Members of the defendant’s family, who include his namesake father and brother Marcos and a sister named Ramona, are expected to testify as witnesses during trial.

Father Dr. David M. Lucero is reportedly angry with San Diego County deputies who responded to a call from Margo Lucero, the afternoon before she was found dead. Margo was reportedly afraid of her son David, and asked deputies to take him away at that time. However, there are assertions that David Leroy Lucero Jr. told deputies that, “I need a TRO to get my mom out of my life,” and “my mom is ruining my life,” and “my mom is running my life.”

Prosecutors Patrick Espinoza and Matthew Greco have asserted, in pretrial hearings, that David Lucero Jr., then 25, was aware that his mother and brother were making effort to get him committed to a mental hospital and that David Lucero Jr. wanted to prevent that from happening.

Father Dr. David M. Lucero was out of town the day deputies were called to the home, March 8, 2010, but the senior Lucero arrived home the following afternoon. Dr. Lucero and one of his adult daughters, Ramona, who picked him up at the airport and brought him home, found Margo Lucero deceased that afternoon, on March 9, 2010.

Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos handled the defense in this case for many years, and the defendant was rarely seen in court during that time. When defendant Lucero appeared in court it was often brief, as part of a competency hearing, and then David Lucero Jr. was sent back to Patton Hospital. The defense for trial is now being handled by David Gammill, who has a connection with Geragos & Geragos; that law firm is based out of Los Angeles.

Prosecutors want to use as evidence phone calls between the defendant and his father, these were recorded as recently as last week. These recordings seem to present the defendant as a lucid man who voices regret that his years in custody in mental institutions will not count as “time-and-half custody credit” toward his ultimate sentence, if there is ever a conviction.

Some of the recordings were played in court during pre-trial motions, and father Dr. David M. Lucero is heard voicing bitter disappointment with attorney Mark Geragos, with whom he “wasted three-hundred-thousand dollars;” the elder Lucero also stated “I’m going to tear his ass up in court anyway.”

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Eva Knott March 16, 2018 @ 12:46 p.m.

Yesterday, March 15, the fourth district court of appeals issued a "stay" order, halting all proceedings in this already much-delayed case. Defense attorney David Gammill has appealed the local judge's decision that defendant David Leroy Lucero Jr. is sufficiently competent to stand trial.


AlexClarke March 17, 2018 @ 7:42 a.m.

The police have little power to do anything "to take him away" unless the the person has no right to be there or that there is evidence of domestic abuse. Where are they going to take him? They can ask a person to leave but if they have a legal right to be there the police cannot force the person to leave.


Eva Knott May 18, 2018 @ 12:08 p.m.

The appeals court today, May 18, 2018, announced that defendant Lucero should have another mental competency hearing. And so the criminal trial proceedings remain suspended.


Eva Knott Nov. 18, 2018 @ 6:14 a.m.

Friday, November 16, the seldom-seen defendant David Lucero made a court appearance in San Diego's North County Superior Courthouse in Vista, California. Apparently, everyone has agreed that David Lucero is again "competent," and a trial date was set for April 29, 2019.

Mysteriously, it has been agreed that if no courtrooms are available in North County (where the murder allegedly occurred) at that court date, then "the trial may be sent downtown."

The State of California has brought new charges against David Lucero for an alleged assault he committed while in custody; his private attorneys agreed to a "stipulated bindover" on that case.

Prosecutor Pat Espinoza commented, "This case will be approaching nine years and must be one of the longest delayed cases in San Diego history!"


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