Woman Brutally Killed With Candlesticks, Mallet: Prosecutors

By Danya Bacchus and Sarah Grieco
|  Friday, Oct 5, 2012  |  Updated 3:12 PM PDT
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Handyman Suspected in Santee Death

Paul Tomasini, left, is accused of killing Mary Shojai, right. She was found dead face down in a pool of blood, according to police.

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Handyman Suspected in Santee Death

SDSU employee Mary Shojai was found dead in her home on Strathmore Drive Sunday.
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Prosecutors said a 64-year-old man murdered a Santee woman by striking her 17 times with blunt objects.

Paul Tomasini is accused of murdering Mary Shojai, a staff member at San Diego State University. Shojai, 66, was found after a 911 call led paramedics to the home in the 10000-block of Strathmore Drive on Sept. 30.

Prosecutor said the two had a "dating" relationship for 3 years and he killed her after she apparently tried to break it off.

She was hit 17 times with three different objects, including a mallet and candlesticks, said prosecutors during the arraignment Friday. The medical examiner’s office said Shojai died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Her family was in court Friday, and sobbed when they heard the details of her alleged murder.

Prosecutors said Shojai was supposed to pick up a friend from the airport. When Shojai did not show up, the friend went to the Santee home looking for her. The friend then saw Tomasini through the window pacing back and forth, so she called the house phone, according to prosecutors. Tomasini then allegedly told the friend to call police.

When police arrived, they said Shojai was found face down in a pool of blood.

Tomasini worked as a handyman and neighbors said he had been suffering from severe depression and recently checked himself into a mental hospital.

He is being held on $2 million bail and will appear in court later this month.

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