SAN BERNARDINO - Opening statements for the trial of two people accused of planning and eventually murdering a local television repairman were postponed a day after one of the defense attorneys called in sick.

The trial was expected to start Monday inside the San Bernardino Superior Courthouse but was rescheduled to commence Tuesday.

Deputy District Attorney Cary Epstein said he expects a full day of testimony Tuesday following opening statements.

Laurie Cone and Gary Michael Gallion have been charged with murder, robbery and burglary in the April 2 death of John "Jack" Cone, according to court records. Laurie Cone also has been charged with solicitation of murder.

Laurie Cone, 47, in a San Bernardino Superior Courtroom on Monday.
Laurie Cone, 47, in a San Bernardino Superior Courtroom on Monday. (Gabriel Luis Acosta/Staff Photographer)

According to police, Laurie Cone reported her husband's death to police when she returned to home and found his body about 4:20 a.m. The residence doubled as Jack Cone's business - D/C Radio and Television - on North Sierra Way in San Bernardino.

Laurie Cone and her daughter, Jackie Cone, had spent the evening gambling at San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino.

It was just days after the Cones' 29th wedding anniversary. About 20 guns and John Cone's Ford F-150 pickup were missing from the residence.

Police say an investigation showed that Laurie Cone conspired to have her husband killed for personal financial gain. Laurie Cone and Gallion are facing life without the possibility of parole.

Shawna Bayless, who was arrested with the two defendants, took a plea bargain before a jury panel was selected.

Bayless, who is expected to testify during the trial, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, voluntary manslaughter and residential robbery.

The trial is expected to last about two and a half weeks.


Reach Lori via email, call her at 909-483-9378, or find her on Twitter at @IEcourtsNow.