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Trial date set for man accused of gunning down Elsinore store clerk


Last updated 9/8/2018 at 11:13am

MURRIETA - A Nov. 30 trial date was confirmed on Friday, Sept. 7 for a man accused of gunning down a 47-year-old Lake Elsinore store clerk and trying to shoot another person during a robbery.

James Curtis Coon, 27, of Lake Elsinore could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of the 2017 slaying of Eric Whitecomb of Wildomar

Coon is charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, burglary and a special circumstance allegation of killing in the course of a robbery.

During a status hearing at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, Riverside County Superior Court Judge John Monterosso set trial proceedings for the end of November after the prosecution and defense agreed to clear their calendars after the Thanksgiving holiday.

If either side declares a scheduling conflict at that time, the trial would likely be pushed into 2019.

Coon is being held without bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.

In the predawn hours of June 14, 2017, Whitecomb was wrapping up his shift at the Circle K in the 16300 block of Lakeshore Drive, near Clement

Street, when the defendant allegedly confronted him with a pistol. The victim, who had worked at the convenience store for more than a decade, was shot multiple times and died at the scene.

Another man, identified in court documents only as "R.D.,'' was in the line of fire but was not hit. He called 911 immediately after the attack.

Coon allegedly fled to a residence on Driftwood Lane, about a mile from the store. Within 12 hours, he was taken into custody by detectives and booked into jail.

He has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.


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