Mom, Son Accused Of Hiring Hit On Wife To Stand Trial

June Pickard, Francis Noble Each Face 2 Felony Charges

A mother and son accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill his wife must stand trial on conspiracy to commit a crime and other charges, a judge ruled Monday.

" Sign Up For Breaking News Alerts" Like Us On Facebook" Follow Us On Twitter

June Carol Pickard, 57, and Francis Richard Noble, 32, will be arraigned in El Cajon Superior Court March 26.

Judge Herbert Exarhos ruled there was enough evidence to order Pickard to stand trial on charges of conspiracy and attempted solicitation to commit murder, and for Noble to proceed to trial on conspiracy and solicitation to commit murder counts.

El Cajon police said they were tipped off to the alleged murder-for-hire plot by an acquaintance of Pickard and Noble.

"Basically … she wanted to have Richard's wife killed," testified Christopher Bragg, a high school acquaintance of Noble's. "I believe the quote was 'I want that [expletive] dead.'"

The 31-year-old alleged victim has been married to Noble for three years and the couple has a history of domestic violence, Lt. Steve Shakowski said.

Shakowski said he was convinced that if the concerned citizen hadn't come forward, the alleged victim would have eventually been killed.

Noble's wife, Rita Mansour, told the court she thought their relationship was fine.

"He would send me daily text messages saying, 'I love you, have a good day,'" Mansour testified.

Prosecutors said Pickard and Noble were motivated by Mansour's bank account, worth $80,000, and the El Cajon condominium the three shared.

After police received information about the defendants' alleged plans, an undercover police officer posed as a hitman and met with Pickard in the parking lot of Parkway Plaza mall, the lieutenant said. During the meeting, Noble spoke of his mother's wish to have his wife killed and made an initial payment to the undercover officer for the hit, Shakowski alleged.

On the witness stand, an undercover police officer, talked about how he posed as a hitman.

"He told me it could look like a mugging gone bad or it could be racially motivated," the police officer said, referring to one of three meetings he had with Noble and Pickard.

The officer also spoke about how Noble and Pickard wanted him to dispose of her body.

"Mr. Noble told me that if there was no body that would help him out because he wouldn't have to pay for a coffin," the officer added.

The officer testified that the mother and son gave him photos of Mansour, a key to her condo gate and a $100 deposit for the $2,000 job.

Police contacted Mansour on Jan. 12 after she left her El Cajon home. She was taken to the El Cajon Police Department, where officers told her about the alleged plan to have her killed, authorities said.

With the victim secured away, the undercover officer told the defendants she had been killed, and final payment was made, Shakowski said. The defendants were then arrested at the same parking lot as their earlier meetings.

The trial is scheduled to begin June 4.

Print this article Back to Top