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Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 3:51 pm | Fair 73º


Neighbor Reacts to Shooting Deaths of Mesa Couple

Corey Lyons remains in police custody as a suspect in the killing of his brother and sister-in-law

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Corey John Lyons

News of the deaths of two local attorneys has rocked their Mesa neighborhood, as well as those in law offices from Santa Barbara to Fresno.

Daniel Patrick Lyons, 55, and his wife, Barbara Lorene Scharton, 48, were found in their home early Monday. Santa Barbara police officers believe the motive for the couple’s deaths may stem from their lawsuit with Lyons’ brother, Corey John Lyons, 50, who had completed construction on their home.

Corey Lyons was arrested Monday afternoon on suspicion of murder, and remained in custody Tuesday.

Early Monday morning, police officers responded to calls from neighbors who said they had heard several shots fired and the sound of glass breaking around 1:30 a.m. When police arrived outside the home at 621 Aurora Ave., officers noticed a broken window on the second floor of the home. They made several calls to the residents’ cell phones, but the calls went unanswered. A SWAT team was called to the scene, and the bodies of Scharton and Lyons were found inside the home, police said.

“They were really sweet people,” said Andy Gault, who lives down the street from the home. “They were just darling folks. They just loved life.”

Scharton had worked for the district attorney’s office in Fresno, and Lyons worked for the Fresno-based law firm, McCormick and Barstow, which has a location in Santa Barbara, according to police reports.

Gault described the couple as very athletic, noting that he would encounter them at nearby Elings Park. Gault had been a guest at the couple’s housewarming party, and they in turn had taken several tours of Gault’s custom-built home for ideas to apply to their own house, which they were remodeling, Gault said.

Gault said Lyons once told him he was having problems with the construction of the home, and that it had ended up costing about three times as much as he expected, but never mentioned his brother by name.

Gault said he learned of the couple’s deaths after his wife took a walk early Monday morning and met other neighbors and police around the Lyons-Scharton home. When Gault dropped by the home, he said, an officer he knew on the scene told him said it was one of the most gruesome crime scenes the officer had seen.

A statement from McCormick and Barstow said that Lyons, a senior partner, was an “outstanding colleague and friend for nearly 30 years.”

“The attorneys and staff of McCormick Barstow LLP are grief-stricken to hear of the deaths ... Barbara was his life partner. We are devastated at the loss of Dan and Barbara. To their families, we extend our thoughts and support at this very difficult time,” the statement said.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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