Laurie Jean Cone, 47, Gary Gallion, 29, and Shawna Bayless, 39, all of San Bernardino, are each charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree residential robbery and one count of first degree burglary in connection with the fatal bludgeoning of Laurie Cone's estranged husband, John "Jack" Cone, 64.
Laurie Cone reported to police on April 2 that she returned to her estranged husband's home and television repair shop, D/C Radio and Television, about 4:20 a.m. that morning after a night out gambling with her daughter at San Manuel Indian Bingo
John Cone had been beaten to death with a hard object. He suffered blunt force trauma to the head, and his arms, ankles and head had been bound with duct tape and computer cord, according to a police report.
John Cone was also a licensed arms dealer, and his gun room had been forced open. Roughly 20 guns were stolen, along with John Cone's Ford F-150 pickup, which was found abandoned on a Highland street on April 5, police said.
Under California law, slayingsthat occur during the commission of a robbery or burglary qualify for the death penalty. But prosecutor Bill Lee said it was too early to determine if he will be pursuing that avenue.
"Whether we seek L-WOP (life without parole) or the death penalty ... that's not a decision we've even remotely made yet," Lee said.
As of Friday, police were still investigating, Lee said.
"They're looking under every stone, looking to enhance the case and find additional evidence, and they're still generating reports," said Lee, adding that reports continued trickling into his office Friday.
No other arrests are expected, Williams said.
Shortly after Laurie Cone reported the crime, police were inundated with leads. They arrested Laurie Cone, Gallion and Bayless two days later, on April 4. Laurie Cone was arrested at her attorney's office, in the 400 block of North Arrowhead Avenue, in San Bernardino.
Police arrested Bayless and Gallion at the house they rented in the 5900 block of Arden Avenue. Investigators served a search warrant at the house and drained a murky green swimming pool
Police were told by several witnesses during the investigaton that Laurie Cone solicited at least three men to kill her husband since 2007, including her daughter's ex-boyfriend. She offered the ex-boyfriend $5,000 and gave him a 9-mm handgun, telling him to "shoot her husband in the head and take his cash," according to the police report.
Another man told police Laurie Cone approached him in January and offered him a truck to kill her husband. The man told his mother, who in turn told John Cone about the solicitation a week before he was killed, according to the police report.
Laurie Cone asked another man, whom she had only known a couple of days, to kill her husband. She told the man her husband kept $7,000 to $9,000 in cash in his safe, and that she would split the cash with him if he killed her husband. She provided him a detailed map of the dwelling, which the man gave to police, according to the police report.
A preliminary hearing for the three can occur as early as Wednesday.