Shakespearean Murder Leads to Special Circumstances

By R.L. McCullough

Santa Barbara, Ca.–July 2, 2009

With fratricidal evidence straight out of a Shakespeare tragedy, Senior Deputy District Attorney Gordo Auchincloss opened today’s preliminary hearing into the  pre-dawn May 4th shotgun slayings of prominent area attorneys Daniel Lyons and his wife, Barbara Scharton with descriptions of their “brutal, horrible” murders at the hands of Daniel’s 50-year-old brother Corey Lyons.

The accused faces two counts of homicide with special circumstances involving financial gain, multiple victims, and lying in wait, with a potential for death penalty conviction.

During the preliminary hearing, conducted by Superior Court Judge Brian Hill—also a central figure in the local trial of accused killer Jesse James Hollywood which went to the jury earlier in the week—Defendant Lyons sat unshackled and taking notes at his attorney’s side while Auchincloss called investigating detectives, neighbors, and others who were aware of the “bad blood” that had developed between the Lyons brothers. 

Victim Daniel Lyons allegedly had brought a series of legal actions against Defendant Corey Lyons for breach of construction contracts, and threatened to bring financial ruin to his sibling.  Testimony from the men’s sister Coleen Zitelli verified that Daniel Lyons was “argumentative and a difficult person to work with”.  She further testified that  when the brothers’ lawsuit began Corey Lyons had told her that “he felt like killing Dan.”

A trial and jury will soon determine if Corey Lyons did, in fact, act upon those feelings.


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