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Bail Remains at $500,000 for Executive Charged in Shooting

A Superior Court judge Monday refused to reduce the $500,000 bail set for a General Dynamics executive charged with trying to kill a Ramona man.

The victim, John Kiracofe, a PSA pilot, appeared at the bail review hearing for Nicholas Schulz, 32, of Mira Mesa. Kiracofe’s attorney joined with the prosecutor, Jim Pippin, in opposing a bail reduction.

“I think $500,000 is reasonable bail under the circumstances and will remain,” said San Diego Superior Court Judge Carlos Cazares.

Charles Bumer, Schulz’s attorney, argued that bail of $25,000 would be appropriate because Schulz had no previous record. He said Schulz is on a paid leave of absence from General Dynamics, where he is the director of marketing for Air Force contracts.

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Pippin argued that nothing had changed since bail was reviewed several months ago except that Schulz is closer to trial. A trial date has been set for Feb. 6.

“This man planned a murder of a man who didn’t even know him,” Pippin charged.

The prosecutor said Schulz posed as a buyer for Kiracofe’s house on Orange Avenue in Ramona and walked through the house three days before the Oct. 29 shooting. Pippin said Schulz pretended he was delivering a package to Kiracofe and then shot him in the stomach.

Kiracofe testified during Schulz’s preliminary hearing that the gunman tried to shoot him again, but he ran into another part of his house and the assailant fled. A deputy sheriff arrested Schulz 30 minutes after the shooting when he discovered a loaded handgun in Schulz’s rental car, which he stopped in Poway for having altered license plates.

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Neither side discussed in court the motive for the shooting, but authorities think it may be related to Schulz dating Kiracofe’s ex-wife.


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