BIG BEAR LAKE – A Big Bear Lake man is facing 50 years to life in prison for a heinous murder that took place in the spring of 2016.
Frank Popovich Jr., 55, a magician who owns the Black Fox Trading Company, was found guilty by a jury on Monday for the shooting murder of a man who was believed to be his friend. District attorney’s officials said that Popovich went to a Big Bear nightclub on April 12, 2016. He made contact with James Clark, 42, who was his friend and who worked for him, in the back parking lot.
Video surveillance captured the Popovich after less than three minutes, shoving the victim and pointing his finger at his face. The victim did not show any signs of aggression and did not even appear to be defending himself. For around 10 seconds, Popovich could not be seen on the surveillance, then a flash of a gun muzzle goes off and Clark’s body falls to the ground.
“In a scene that was captured on surveillance video, the defendant then walked over to the victim’s head area and slapped the victim in the head,” DDA Ruescher said. “The defendant then walked to the feet of the victim, took the cigarette from his left hand, and continued to smoke it for a full thirty seconds while standing over the victim’s body.”
Popovich will be sentenced in December 2017.
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