SAN BERNARDINO - Jury selection will begin this week for the upcoming trial of two people accused of planning and carrying out the slaying of a local television repairman for financial gain.

A third defendant recently took a plea bargain and is expected to testify during the trial, scheduled to start next week.

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's attorney Ed Congdon made a request last week for a countywide jury pool, which would seek jurors from a wider geographical area, citing concerns about publicity before the trial started.

Congdon told Judge Michael A. Smith that there were several factors in this case that could effect a juror's perspective - including Jack Cone's longtime presence in the community and extensive media coverage of his death.

But Smith rejected the idea of a countywide jury pool because it would take too long to notify prospective jurors, and the defendants want to get on with the trial.

However, Smith did allow Cone to draft a questionnaire for all potential jurors, which would allow them to find out who has been influenced by outside information.

The questionnaire will be filled out during jury selection.

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.


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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 Cone's 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.

A third defendant, Shawna Marie Bayless, accepted a plea bargain last week - right before lawyers began talk of jury selection.

Bayless pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, voluntary manslaughter and residential robbery, Deputy District Attorney Cary Epstein said.

"If she testifies truthfully, the conspiracy to commit murder charge will be dismissed and she could be sentenced to 14 to 18 years," Epstein said. "If the judge determines she is not truthful during her testimony, or if she refuses to testify she would be sentenced to 25 years to life."


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