A man who admitted to the fatal pot robbery of a family friend was sentenced today to life in prison without parole.
Kailan Joshua James, 23, received the term from Sacramento Superior Court Judge Eugene L. Balonon for the shooting death of Kelly McClurg, 60, in the victim’s rural home in the Wilton area.
According to evidence at trial, James helped steal McClurg’s indoor pot grow after his girlfriend’s father, Daniel Joseph Valine, 45, shot the man they all knew as “Uncle Kelly” during an after-midnight visit on Oct. 27, 2012.
Valine was convicted of second-degree murder by a separate jury in the same trial and was sentenced last month to 40-to-life. James was convicted in the first-degree with a special-circumstance finding of murder during the commission of a robbery. The finding resulted from James’ statements to friends and detectives that they went to McClurg’s house intending to rob him. James’ jury heard the admissions, but Valine’s didn’t.
A third defendant, Justin Daniel Valine, 24, is awaiting a Feb. 7 sentencing. Justin Valine, like his father Daniel and Kailan James, was a carnival worker who worked fairs in the Stockton area. He is facing an 11-year term after pleading no contest to voluntary manslaughter in exchange for his trial testimony against the other two defendants.
Call The Bee’s Andy Furillo, (916) 321-1141. Follow him on Twitter @andyfurillo.