Mother and Son Who Hired Fake Hitman Sentenced to Prison

After pleading guilty to attempted murder charges, the two face seven years to life behind bars.

Updated September 21 @ 12 p.m.

A mother and son who tried to hire a hitman to kill his wife for financial and other reasons were both sentenced today to seven years to life in state prison.

June Carol Pickard, 57, and her 32-year-old son, Francis Richard Noble, pleaded guilty last month to premeditated attempted murder. The defendants will each have to serve at least seven years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole, according to prosecutor James Romo.

El Cajon police were tipped off Jan. 6 to the murder-for-hire plot by an acquaintance of Pickard's.

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

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

Mansour attended the sentencing hearing but did not address the judge directly. Instead, a friend read a letter on her behalf expressing "shock and disbelief" that her husband -- who she thought was her soulmate -- wanted her dead.

"I can't stop thinking about it," Mansour wrote, "from the time I wake up from the time I go to sleep. I loved Francis. He didn't love me."

Outside the courtroom, Romo said Noble and his mother "hated" Mansour and wanted to kill her so they could get at what little money she had.

"She had no idea," the prosecutor said of Mansour's knowledge of the plan to kill her. "She had no hint of an idea."

Attorneys for the defendants said their clients have expressed remorse for the plot to kill Mansour.

After police received information about the defendants' plans, an undercover police officer posing as a hit man met with the defendants in the parking lot of Parkway Plaza mall, Shakowski said.

During the encounter, Noble spoke of his mother's wish to have his wife killed and made an initial payment of $100 to the undercover officer for the hit, Shakowski said. Noble said he and his mother stood to gain more than $100,000 if his wife died, according to the lieutenant.

A police officer testified in March that the defendants believed the victim had $80,000 in her bank account.

Police contacted Mansour on Jan. 12 after she left the El Cajon home she shared with her husband and mother-in-law. She was brought to the El Cajon Police Department, where officers told her about the plan to have her killed.

With the victim secured away, the undercover officer told the defendants she had been killed. They were on their way to get another partial payment toward a promised $2,000 when they were arrested, Romo said.

-City News Service

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gaugamel September 22, 2012 at 03:17 PM
the trouble with this is that you tell people what you are going to do instead of doing it. that ld cliche don't say it do it maybe does have some merit.
Paul Mack September 22, 2012 at 05:34 PM
They should both be put to death together so they can see each other die, this would be NEAT.
CeCe Bemmer September 22, 2012 at 06:24 PM
What a couple of morons this Mother and Son must be? To think they actually thought they hired a hit man willing to kill someone for $2000 dollars, with only a $100 deposit? lmfao
Heidi Dietrich September 22, 2012 at 06:53 PM
I have to wonder why a man would marry a woman only to want to have her killed. He and his mother deserve each other. Scum. That poor wife. I'm glad she was put in a safe location.
D W September 22, 2012 at 07:26 PM
I worked with both Richard and his Mom when this all went down. I don't agree with what they did but there is a whole lot more to the story that isn't being brought up. Both Richard and his Mom are slow. They truly are simple, not retarded but not all there. The story talks about there being a "history domestic violence" but doesn't mention that it was Richard who was being beat up on. He would come to work black eyed, scratched all the time. His Wife truly was a bitch. Richard worked for tips mostly and she would show up and demand his tip money so she could gamble. (We worked in a casino) June did hate her, only because of the way she treated Richard.
J Sames September 22, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Thank you. There's always many sides to a situation. i figured there were extenuating circumstances, but killing someone is no answer.
D W September 22, 2012 at 08:10 PM
I know what they did wasn't right but in his mind it was his only way out of the marriage. I once asked him why not get a divorce. His response was that one time he brought it up to her and she went off on him. Saying that she would be an embarrasment to her family (He's white, she's Chaldean) and if he divorced her that he better watch his back that the family would come after him. He was like a slave almost. If he wasn't working at the casino then he was working in her fathers liqour store for no pay. He never saw one dime for working in the store.
Fred September 22, 2012 at 08:34 PM
There was a case in Oklahoma in the 70's in which a small town preacher searched bars in Oklahoma City to find a pair of hit men to kill his lover's husband for $500. You get what you pay for, because after the killing, when the family came home to find the man dead, they also found the pair of killers passed out drunk in front of the house, with their engine running. You do get what you pay for.
Brad Machado September 22, 2012 at 10:06 PM
What the hell is Chaldean?
Emma September 22, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Here Brad....this is for you :) http://www.everyculture.com/multi/Bu-Dr/Chaldean-Americans.html
nelson September 23, 2012 at 12:49 AM
thank enma very good research.
TRICIA ANN September 23, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Emma September 23, 2012 at 02:24 AM
thanks! I was curious myself.
Glenn Posner September 23, 2012 at 10:10 AM
There seems to be way too many fake hitmen running around out there.
Terry Cooley September 24, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Sorry DW, I know Richard Personally and I have met his mom. He hated his wife. Yes He was being beat up; yet did not fight back. When you ask/tell your spouse about Divorce, what are they supposed to do? Sit down and have Tea? If you worked with Richard you may have known Mililani...My ex wife. I divorced her. I paid Alimony. She was from a different culture, yet here I am responding. I disagree about Richard not having options. I know Rita(his mom)was pulling the strings on this one, Richard however is an adult and knows that this was wrong. I think 7 years to life is a weak sentence and it should be more like 20 years to life. Richard was my friend until these events...When you murder or attempt or conspire to murder someone; it effects more people than you can possibly imagine. It breaks my heart.
D W September 24, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Terry, I only know what Richard told me. He never mentioned he hated his wife only that he didn't like the fact that all of his money went right to her to gamble. His mom though was a different story. Everyone knew she hated her. You know Richard so you would agree both he and his mom are a little slow.


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