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Local News

Testimony in Double Homicide Trial Turns to Lyons’ Arrest

Daily proceedings are cut short to give attorneys time to discuss an analysis of gunpowder residue

Several weeks into the jury trial, the May 2009 double homicide case for which Goleta resident Corey Lyons is accused has introduced 220 pieces of evidence and dozens of witnesses, from neighbors and law enforcement officials to crime scene investigators.

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Corey John Lyons

Lyons, 50, is accused of killing his brother, 55-year-old Daniel Lyons, and his brother’s life partner, 48-year-old Barbara Scharton, in their Aurora Avenue home in Santa Barbara.

Three guns were used in the shootings, according to court testimony, and the two bodies were found on different floors of the home by police.

Friday’s testimony included many Mesa residents who owned white trucks, as a light-colored truck was seen driving on Aurora Avenue a few minutes after the shots were heard. They said that none of them moved their vehicles, or knew of anyone else doing so, the night or early morning of the shootings.

The prosecution, represented by Senior Deputy District Attorney Gordon Auchincloss and prosecuting attorney Vicki Johnson, also called Ann Bramsen of the North County District Attorney’s Office.

Bramsen, who was acting district attorney earlier this year, worked briefly with Scharton when she filled in at the Santa Maria office for someone on maternity leave.

Scharton handled misdemeanors, parole violations and lower-level felonies. She had a “busy caseload as far as volume, but a low caseload as far as seriousness,” Bramsen said.

Bramsen said she was not aware of any threats Scharton received while working there for nine months, and testified that any would have been reported. Scharton’s files show none, she said.

In his cross examination of Bramsen, defense attorney Bob Sanger asked about her knowledge of Scharton’s personal life. Bramsen said she wasn’t a personal friend, only a close work colleague for that period of time they worked together, often spending days in court together.

On Monday, testimony moved to what happened during and after Lyons was arrested on suspicion of shooting the couple.

Lyons was arrested at his Goleta home as he was leaving his RV parked across the street.

The prosecution played a video that showed Lyons clad in an orange jail jumpsuit talking to his wife, Mildred, in the corner of a room. The audio is mumbled and echoed, and Mildred does most of the talking while putting her arms around his neck and wiping her eyes from crying. She talks about their children and how neighbors will “talk up a storm,” as the meeting between them is soon after he was arrested.

The jury was let out early Monday so attorneys could discuss the gunpowder residue analysis done by a crime lab in Los Angeles at the behest of the District Attorney’s Office.

The trial will reconvene at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Judge Brian Hill’s courtroom.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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