Calif. Lawyer Couple Shot and Killed; Brother of One Victim Is Suspect
Posted May 5, 2009 6:19 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Two California lawyers who were longtime companions were shot and killed yesterday, and police intend to charge the brother of one of the victims with homicide.
Dead are Daniel Lyons, 55, a senior partner who handled insurance defense cases at the Fresno law firm of McCormick, Barstow, Sheppard, Wayte & Carruth, and Barbara Lorene Scharton, 48, who formerly had prosecuted major marijuana cases for the Fresno County District Attorney's office, the Fresno Bee reports.
The lawyers were shot in their Santa Barbara vacation home. The suspect, Corey Lyons, 50, was the defendant in a lawsuit filed by Daniel Lyons, according to the Santa Barbara Independent and the Daily Sound. The suit claimed the couple hired a company owned by Corey Lyons to build their vacation home, but Corey Lyons delayed construction to wrest more money from the couple.
“At three stories tall, the home is a strange fit for a neighborhood of mostly single-story houses,” the Independent says. “A sliding door leading from a bedroom, where the bodies were found, to an outdoor patio on the second floor—the main level of the home—had been shattered, and ripped drapes were still blowing in the wind as the sun came up.”
Lyons worked at McCormick Barstow since his graduation from law school in 1980. A statement issued by the firm said Scharton was Barstow’s life partner, and lawyers at the firm were grief-stricken upon hearing of the deaths.