Defendants in Lodi doctor’s murder appear in S.J. court
STOCKTON — The four men suspected in the shooting death of retired Lodi podiatrist Dr. Thomas Shock in August made their second appearance before the San Joaquin County Superior Court in Stockton on Friday afternoon.
Robert Elmo Lee, 79, of Lodi, Christopher Anthony Costello, 26, of Sacramento, Mallory Stewart, 27, of Sacramento and Raymond Jacquett, 26, of Sacramento — all dressed in orange — took turns standing up in the custody area as Judge Ronald Northup read their names aloud before a packed courtroom during their second arraignment.
The four defendants were arrested on suspicion of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the fatal shooting of Shock — who was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds in the doorway of his Lodi home the night of Aug. 1 — with Lee facing additional charges including soliciting to commit murder.
The defendants first appeared for arraignment on Sept. 27, according to court records.
Michael Cardoza, Lee’s attorney, on Friday requested a continuation until Dec. 3 for further arraignment — which Northup granted — and the defendants were returned to custody in the San Joaquin County Jail.
Although police have not yet revealed a possible motive, a search warrant filed by Lodi Police Detective Michael Hitchcock that was released by the court in late September said that a single page of a complaint filed against Shock to the California Board of Podiatric Medicine regarding his treatment of a patient identified by the initials “B.L.,” was found at the scene of Shock’s murder.
Shock’s office confirmed that B.L. was Bonnie Lee, the wife of Robert Elmo Lee who initially saw Shock for an ingrown toenail in 2011, the warrant said, but the complaint alleged that Shock’s “substandard care” led to part of her foot being amputated in 2012.
A records check showed Lee owned several firearms including three .38 caliber revolvers, the warrant said, and detectives believed a revolver was likely used in Shock’s murder as no shell casings were found at the scene.
Costello’s fingerprint was found on the complaint page, the warrant said, although Costello had no prior connection to Shock or his family.
Hitchcock found the rest of the medical document, seven cell phones and a computer when he served a search warrant on Lee’s home on Alpine Drive, the warrant said.
Robert Elmo Lee appears before the Superior Court of California, County of San Joaquin in Stockton on Friday.