Ken Leighton 11 a.m., May 27
Family of man shot by Encinitas neighbor seek millions in damages
Civil suits filed against Michael Vilkin in San Diego Superior Court
John C. Upton Senior is requesting $5 million in general damages and $1 million in special damages and “reserves the right to seek $10 million in punitive damages,” according to papers filed last week, in a suit against the man accused of shooting and killing John Upton Jr. on March 28 of this year.
Michael Vilkin, 61, has been charged with murder in connection with the death of John Charles Upton, Jr., 56, who was found dead on a vacant lot in Encinitas.
In a statement filed September 24, the father of the deceased claimed that Vilkin “acted with premeditated malice” and “intentionally set out to murder (John Upton Jr.) in cold blood.” Upton Senior is represented by Lisa Maki, an attorney with offices in Los Angeles.
The suit was filed the day after a court hearing in which Vilkin repeatedly turned to look at the Upton family, seated in the gallery, and the defendant in that criminal, murder case seemed to smile and smirk at the bereaved.
Other family members, John Upton III and James Upton and Elizabeth Vaca, also filed suit. Their action is dated June 3, 2013, and claims that Vilkin “willfully, maliciously and recklessly” shot John Upton Jr., which deprived them of “love, companionship, comfort…” Their suit does not specify a dollar amount for economic and general and punitive damages.
The next court date for the civil actions is February 7, 2014, before Honorable Judge Robert Dahlquist in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse.
The next date for the criminal, murder case against Vilkin is October 7, 2013, in the same courthouse, before the Honorable Judge Aaron Katz. Vilkin pleads not-guilty.
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