So far in the double homicide retrial against suspect Corey Lyons, testimony has once again focused on the civil lawsuit between Lyons and the victims regarding construction of their Mesa home.
Lyons is accused of killing his brother Daniel and his brother’s life partner, Barbara Scharton, in their home on Aurora Avenue that he was contracted to build. He was arrested a few hours after the early-morning shooting on May 4, 2009, and went to trial last year.
After seven weeks of trial, it was declared a mistrial in December after Lyons’ brother Tom gave prejudicial testimony, Judge Brian Hill determined.
On Thursday, Corey’s wife, Mildred, once again took the stand to talk about the tension between the two brothers over the construction of the home.
Daniel Lyons apparently gave Corey Lyons and Mildred Lyons “more than $300,000 in cash” to pay half of the payroll in cash and avoid some payments into workers compensation, but she testified that they objected as the process went on. She was granted immunity in exchange for her testimony, she said.
She felt it was a terrible idea from the beginning for Corey Lyons to get involved with the project given the brothers’ disputes in the past, she said.
Eventually, a lawsuit over the construction of the home was slated to be settled for $100,000 cash, a note on the Lyons’ Goleta home and their vacant property as well. There was also the threat of Corey Lyons losing his contractor’s license.
The settlement papers — which would make Corey and Mildred Lyons pay $100,000 cash, a note on their home and hand over their vacant property as well — were scheduled to be signed the day Daniel Lyons and Scharton were killed. The lawsuit was dismissed after their deaths.