The children of a man who was allegedly shot to death by his neighbor on March 28, 2013, recently made new accusations against the alleged killer in their multimillion dollar wrongful-death suit. The last court date for the civil matter was March 21, and a jury trial for the murder case is set to begin in two weeks.
James Upton, John Upton III, and Elizabeth Upton Vaca declared in court papers that Michael Vilkin is attempting to “willfully defraud” future creditors by transferring ownership of a property to his wife, Tamara, thus putting that asset “beyond the reach” of their suit.
Through their attorney, the plaintiffs said they believe Tamara Vilkin is attempting to sell the two-plus acre lot — the same place where their father, 56-year-old John Charles Upton Jr., was found shot to death, at 2902 Lone Jack Road, in Encinitas.
Upton’s three children are represented by attorney Christina Denning; they have asked for $5 million in general damages, $1 million in special damages, and up to $10 million in punitive damages.
The civil suit against 62-year-old Michael Vilkin was filed on June 3, 2013; the suit states that Michael made a quit-claim deed transfer to his wife Tamara three months later, on June 24, 2013.
The civil suit claims that the property transfer is an attempt to “willfully defraud” future creditors and that the property might be the “only valuable asset” of Michael Vilkin,. The petitioners have asked the court to “set aside” the transfer.
Vilkin reportedly told investigators that he felt threatened and shot Upton in self defense. Vilkin has been charged with premeditated murder, and assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly pointing the gun at Upton’s girlfriend when she came out of their nearby home.
Vilkin pleads not guilty and has been held in lieu of $5 million bail. A jury trial for the criminal case is set for Thursday, April 24, in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse.