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SAN BERNARDINO - A woman accused of having another man kill her husband while she fed her gambling habit at a casino testified Wednesday that her daughter may have had something to do with the slaying, contradicting earlier statements to police.
Defendants Laurie Cone and Gary Gallion have been charged in the beating death of John "Jack Cone, who was found dead in his television repair shop on Sierra Way in April.
Several guns and televisions as well as ammunition and the victim's truck were taken from the residence, according to police.
Investigators say Laurie Cone solicited Gallion to rob and kill her husband while she was out gambling with her daughter at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino.
On Wednesday, Deputy District Attorney Cary Epstein played a recording of police Detective Albert Tello interviewing Laurie Cone at the Police Department hours after the killing.
At times sounding weary and shaken, and other times defiant, Cone denied several times that she or her daughter, Jackie Cone, were involved in the death.
"Jackie and I had nothing to do with this and I know you have to ask these questions, but if I take offense, that's normal," she told Tello.
The recording illustrated a troubled marriage, wrought with debt and Laurie Cone's gambling problems. She told the detective she often lost thousands of dollars while gambling, and once blew through $96,000 in a casino in one night.
But she said she had nothing to gain by her husband's death because selling his property would be "too much work."
She asked Tello several times during the interview how much longer the questioning would take. And because Cone's daughter wasn't immediately available to be interviewed because she had fallen asleep.
Tello questioned whether either of them were serious about the killer being caught.
"If it was my wife, I'd stay 15 hours, if it would help solve the case," Tello told Cone.
Cone maintained that not only did she not play a role in her husband's death, but she had no idea who would hurt him.
"He was the nicest guy in the world," Laurie Cone said. "Jack had no enemies."
Toward the end of the interview, Tello left the room to bring Cone water, but he didn't turn off the recorder. Laurie Cone began talking to herself.
"Oh Jack, Jack, Jack. What did you do? I can't see you putting up a fight. Whoever did this - as God is my witness - I will see you rot in Hell," she said.
Following the playing of the recording in court, defense attorney Ed Congdon called Laurie Cone back to the stand.
She testified she did not blame her daughter for her husband's death during the police interview because at the time she didn't think she had anything to do with it.
But since then, Laurie Cone said, she has had time to think about who could have been involved in her husband's death.
"I think my daughter had something to do with it," Laurie Cone testified. "Maybe not hands-on. She said something to someone and...whatever happened happened."
Jackie Cone has testified she was not involved in her father's death, and has not been charged with any crime.
Laurie Cone gave testimony on Wednesday that she did not give on Tuesday. Most of her testimony contradicted things her daughter said while on the stand earlier in the trial.
When Epstein asked her why she was offering the new testimony, Laurie Cone replied, "The testimony I heard on tape reminded me of it."
Closing arguments are expected to begin today.