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MAN WHO SHOT TEEN HELD IN JAIL.

Byline: Sonia Giordani Daily News Staff Writer

A Simi Valley store owner who fatally shot an acquaintance after mistaking him for an intruder remained in East County Jail on Sunday in lieu of $255,000 bail, Ventura County jail officials said.

Edward Nishida Drake, 50, is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon on charges of murder, said Sgt. Chuck Buttell of the Sheriff's Department.

``This sounds like a fairly complex case, so anything could happen,'' Buttell said.

Buttell said that the District Attorney's Office could choose to continue the arraignment pending further investigation or could reduce the charge of murder to one of manslaughter.

Jail officials said Drake also was being held on a warrant violation on a promise to appear in court for driving with a suspended license and for refusing a chemical test. He is scheduled to appear in court on the warrant violation Tuesday morning.

Drake, owner of E.N.D. Automotive Repair in Simi Valley, was arrested Friday night on suspicion of fatally shooting 17-year-old Leonard Anthony Coppola, a former employee of KH Performance, a neighboring motorcycle and watercraft repair shop.

Coppola, who had grown up in Simi Valley but recently moved to Thousand Oaks, had been preparing for a camping trip with a friend.

The two returned to KH Performance to pick up a trailer before heading out for their trip at about 9 p.m. Friday.

The trailer was stored in a fenced area shared by three businesses, including Drake's and KH Performance.

Police said Drake, who lives on a boat at Channel Islands Harbor but who often sleeps at his shop, was awakened by the sound of the fence being opened.

Police reported that Drake apparently thought the victim was breaking into the fenced storage area when he stepped out of his shop armed with a handgun.

Drake fired one round and hit Coppola in the head. Coppola was pronounced dead at Simi Valley Hospital.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 13, 1997
Words:322
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