SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Jurors Monday began deliberating the case against a Serra Mesa woman accused in her mother's death.
A prosecutor Monday told jurors Ghazal Jessica Mansury, 43, killed her 79-year-old mother Mehria Mansury, then dumped her body in a remote part of San Diego County where it wouldn't be found for nine days, a prosecutor said Monday, but a defense attorney told jurors the death could have been an accident.
In his closing argument, Deputy District Attorney Paul Greenwood urged the jury to reject the defendant's claim that she got home from work on Sept. 23, 2013, and found her mother dead. A deputy medical examiner could not determine a cause of death because of insect and wild animal damage at the dump site, but did rule it a homicide, Greenwood said.
The prosecutor said Mansury lied to friends and family by telling them her mother went missing and that she didn't know where the older woman was.
Mansury also lied about how her mother died, according to the prosecutor.
"She (the defendant) had woven a web of deceit," Greenwood told the jury.
He said Mansury was angry at her mother for various reasons, and called the victim a "bitch" for getting rid of her dog.
Greenwood told the jury there was a "pushing match" and "blood-letting" incident before the murder, and Mansury did not want her mother going to a doctor's appointment the next day, so she strangled the older woman with a bicycle tire inner tube.
An officer who went to the Amulet Street home on Sept. 24, 2013, was struck by the smell of bleach coming from a bathroom, Greenwood said.
Days after the victim went missing, Mansury told a friend that she killed her mother and dumped the body, Greenwood told the jury.
That friend ultimately told her ex-husband what the defendant had told her, and he called Crimestoppers. Mansury was later arrested and her mother's body was discovered Oct. 2.
Defense attorney Brian Dooley argued that even though his client admitted dumping her mother's body, there was no evidence that she killed her. After her arrest, Mansury told her pastor that her mother's death was an accident, Dooley told the jury.
"We don't know how she died," Dooley said of the victim.
Should jurors find that Mansury killed her mother, they should find that the killing was not willful and premeditated, Dooley argued.
Mansury faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder.