STOCKTON — Two of the four men suspected in the shooting death of retired Lodi podiatrist Dr. Thomas Shock entered pleas of “not guilty” when they appeared before the San Joaquin County Superior Court in Stockton on Monday afternoon.
Robert Elmo Lee, 79, of Lodi, Christopher Anthony Costello, 26, of Sacramento, Mallory Stewart Jr., 27, of Sacramento and Raymond Austin Hasso Jacquett IV on Monday appeared for arraignment before Judge Ronald Northup, who transferred the case to Judge Lauren Thomasson.
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 on Aug. 1 — with Lee facing additional charges including soliciting to commit murder.
Lee and Costello entered pleas of “not guilty” before Thomasson, while Stewart and Jacquett did not enter pleas.
The defendants first appeared for arraignment on Sept. 27, according to court records, and appeared a second time on Oct. 12.
The four defendants will appear before court again at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 12 to set a date for the preliminary hearing, during which evidence will be resented.
Although the connection between all four defendants is still unknown, a search warrant released by the court in October showed a connection between Lee and Costello, as well as a possible motive.
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 also found, according to the search warrant filed by Lodi Police Detective Michael Hitchcock.
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.
Costello’s fingerprint was found on the complaint page, the warrant said, although Costello had no prior connection to Shock or his family.