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Crime & Justice

San Bernardino police say wife, two inmates plotted TV repairman’s murder

Laurie Cone
Laurie Cone
San Bernardino Police Department

San Bernardino police announced today that they have now arrested three people -- a woman and two paroled inmates -- for allegedly murdering the woman’s husband for financial gain.

Police believe Laurie Cone, 47, hatched a plot to murder her husband John “Jack” Cone, a 64-year-old TV repairman and gun collector, with the help of Gary Gallion, 29, and Shawna Bayless, 39. Cone was found bludgeoned to death in his home on April 3, with his truck and guns stolen.

When the story first broke, Mrs. Cone claimed to have innocently discovered her husband’s body after arriving home with her daughter from a night of gambling. “My husband didn’t deserve this at all,” she said at the time, according to CBS. “They didn’t have to hurt him.”

Now police say it was her that hurt him, along with her co-conspirators, in a plot seemingly lifted from a James Cain story about greedy lowlifes.

Laurie Cone was arrested last week and charged with first-degree murder on Friday -- just a few days after her and Jack’s 29th wedding anniversary -- and has pleaded not guilty.

Authorities have not yet revealed exactly what role Gallion and Bayless are believed to have played in the alleged plot. Jack Cone’s stolen pickup truck, a white Ford F150, was recovered last week on the 2600 block of Orchid Drive in Highland, and it may be that evidence from the truck led police to suspect the pair.

The Cones’ San Bernardino home on the 2100 block of North Sierra Way had also doubled as Jack’s place of business -- known as D C Radio & Television -- for buying and selling guns and fixing TVs and radios.

Deputy District Attorney William Lee is still reviewing the case, according to the San Bernardino Sun, and has not yet officially charged Gallion and Bayless, who were already in custody on parole violations. The two were expected to appear today in San Bernardino Superior Court.

All three suspects are being held without bail.