Brutal Roommate Homicide Trial on Hold Pending Autopsy

Evidence is still being collected in the brutal murder and dismemberment of a 61-year-old woman in the Mission District last June.

Lisa Gonzalez (Image: SFPD)

A violent attack that left one woman dead in the Mission district earlier this summer isn’t any closer to reaching a trial. Lisa Gonzales, 47, is accused of killing and dismembering her roommate, Margaret Mamer, 61, sometime between May 13 and June 2 at their apartment on the 200 block of 14th Street. 

Gonzales has been charged with murder but pleaded not guilty last month. On Wednesday she briefly appeared in court. Her lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Alex Lilien, says that there are still not enough details to move forward with a case, and that crucial information, such as the official cause of Mamer’s death, has yet to be reviewed. 

Public defender Alex Lilien speaks to the media about his client Lisa Gonzales, who is charged with the murder of roommate Margaret Mamer, at the Hall of Justice. (Photo: Kevin Hume)

“There are videos. There are photos. But most importantly, we’re still waiting on the autopsy report,” Lilien said.

According to court documents, Gonzales began renting a room in her 14th Street apartment to Mamer in August of last year, for $400 a month, after hearing that she’d fallen on hard times. But a few months into the agreement Gonzales asked Mamer to move out, citing missing and broken objects around the house. She served her a 30-day notice eviction notice in mid-April, but by mid-May, Mamer still had nowhere to go.

This is apparently when things got ugly. A third roommate told police that she noticed a strange metallic smell when she came home from work on May 15, followed by a strong scent of vinegar the next day. Gonzales told the roommate Mamer had left, “but not the way she should have.” A hacksaw appeared under a sink in the laundry room, and the roommate noticed a large plastic storage container was missing. It was that storage container that police found Mamer’s body in several weeks later, after performing a welfare check at the home. Mamer’s limbs had been sawn off. 

Gonzales is due back in court on Aug. 22. In the meantime, she remains in custody at San Francisco County Jail, without bail.

Daniel Montes contributing reporting to this story.

View Comments