SAN BERNARDINO - Prosecutors used visual aids of a bloodied crime scene Thursday to make their case that a local TV repairman's wife and her alleged accomplice killed him last year for financial gain.

Deputy District Attorney Cary Epstein showed jurors pictures of the crime scene, which included evidence of a break-in and John "Jack" Cone's bloody body, as well as two surveillance videos showing a man entering and stealing items from the 64-year-old Cone's home in the 2100 block of Sierra Way.

Cone's wife, Laurie Cone, 47, and Gary Gallion, 30, are accused of conspiring to rob and kill Jack Cone on April 2 at his home and workspace.

Police believe Cone planned it for financial gain.

Gary Gallion, 30, gazes out from a San Bernardino Superior Courtroom on Thursdays as jurors watched surveillance video taken from Jack Cone’s
Gary Gallion, 30, gazes out from a San Bernardino Superior Courtroom on Thursdays as jurors watched surveillance video taken from Jack Cone's residence and heard testimony from police detectives. Gallion and co-defendant Laurie Cone are standing trial in the April beating death of TV repairman John "Jack" Cone. (Gabriel Luis Acosta/Staff Photographer)

Cone and Gallion face a life sentence without the possibility of parole if convicted.

Detective Michelle Mahan, who was called to Jack Cone's house to do a crime scene investigation after the homicide report, took the stand inside a San Bernardino Superior Courthouse and talked about evidence inside the property.

One of the pictures showed a broken surveillance camera on the wall and Mahan said the front part of it had been knocked out so it couldn't capture video.

Other pictures showed padlocks dangling from the door and damage to the door itself.

The edge of the door was pried outward as if someone was trying to break the locks, Mahan said.

The pictures turned more gruesome as Epstein showed images of Jack Cone's battered and bruised body on the floor of his bedroom.

Evidence placards pointed out where blood had spattered - on the wall, in the bed, on a laundry hamper and on the floor, Mahan said.

Epstein also showed a picture of what appeared to be a footprint on a pillow.

The pictures of Jack Cone show he was beaten and tied up. Telephone cords tethered him to three walls and there was duct tape around his hands and ankles.

"The tape was also around his head, tracked through his mouth and around his neck as well," Mahan said.

Video

Following the pictures, Epstein played a 25-minute video that showed someone breaking into Jack Cone's house.

The video began shortly after 12 a.m. on April 2. About nine minutes into the video, a person emerged from behind a parked truck and crouched down near the back door of the house.

The suspect, who is wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, dark shorts, white socks and white shoes, can be seen lurking around the door for about three minutes until he breaks in and enters the house.

More than two hours later, the subject is seen coming out of the house and loading large guns into the truck.

It took the robber about 17 minutes to load the truck with guns, TVs and other items. The video then goes dark.

Epstein then played a lengthy video from a surveillance camera in Jack Cone's gun room.

At 12:21 a.m. a person wearing what looks like the same outfit as before is seen walking in and out of the gun room. Around 1:20 a.m. the suspect starts working on a security door, using different tools and items to try and break it open.

Officials believe he was looking for guns, money and other valuables.

At one point, the man, who seems to be unaware of the camera, pulls back the hood of his jacket - revealing someone who looks like Gallion. He continues working with his hood down, face exposed.

For 35 minutes, the man is seen hammering, pounding and beating locks on the security door. At 1:55 a.m., finally breaks in.

He encounters a second door but this time he broke a hole in it, reached through and had it open within a minute.

He is seen walking in to the room, which is off camera.

Officials testified that Jack Cone had eight surveillance cameras hooked up to a DVR inside his home.

The device was taken from the home the night of the robbery and later recovered in a trash bin near a liquor store in the 5900 block of Del Rosa Avenue, San Bernardino police Detective Albert Tello testified. 

When they hooked up the DVR and watched it, they found eight channels that showed views of the front yard of the house, the side gate and driveway leading into the shop, the north side of the house, the rear of the property and inside the gun room.

Epstein plans to play the rest of the video, about 45 minutes, on Monday when the trial resumes.

lori.fowler@inlandnewspapers.com

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