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Lyons Trial, Day 13

Arresting Officers Testify Lyons Became ‘Extremely Nervous’ During Questioning


Three more police officers were called to the stand on Monday in the ongoing double murder trial of Corey Lyons. Their testimony focused largely on the details surrounding Lyons’s arrest outside his Lassen Drive home just hours after police discovered the bodies of his brother, Dan Lyons, and his brother’s life partner, Barbara Scharton, in the Aurora Avenue home that Corey had built for them.

Shortly after police responded to 911 calls of shots being fired at Dan and Barbara’s home in the early morning hours of May 4, 2009, they were informed by friends and neighbors of the couple that, if something had happened, they should question Dan’s brother Corey, who at the time was being sued by the couple over problems related to his construction of their home.

Even though it would be several hours before police would finally confirm the couple’s fate, two officers were directed to Corey Lyons’s home in order to locate and question him.

Lyons, however, as police would soon discover, was nowhere to be found. When officers knocked on the door of his home at around 3 a.m., they woke his wife, Mildred, who appeared confused when she could not locate her husband. In the questioning that followed, officers learned that in addition to the two cars parked in their driveway — Corey’s white Ford work truck, and Mildred’s Expedition — the couple owned a motor home they kept parked across the street. With Mildred’s permission, officers testified they performed a cursory search of the motor home, but found nothing.

Over the course of the next few hours, a police check of vehicle registration records would show that in addition to the truck, SUV, and motor home, Lyons also had a BMW motorcycle registered in his name. But after another search of the property, the motorcycle, like its owner, was nowhere to be found.

It wasn’t until 9 a.m. that police were able to locate Corey Lyons. Officer Tom Eccles, who had been watching the Lyons’s home, recalled doing a “double take” when he saw the door to the motor home that he believed was empty, swing open, only to have the man he had been looking for emerge from the cabin. After exiting, Lyons reportedly began to cross the street, where he was intercepted by multiple officers and taken into custody. When Eccles was questioned in court on the thoroughness of his search of the motor home, he asserted that the only way he could have missed someone was if they were actively trying to conceal themselves. “I am sure that there was no one in there sleeping,” he said.

The prosecution contends that at some point after the search was conducted, Lyons slipped into the motor home from the driver’s side door, which at the time was facing away from his home, in an attempt to provide himself with an alibi.

When officers were asked by the prosecution to describe Lyons’s demeanor at the time of his arrest, two noted that he quickly became “extremely nervous,” and that he “began to sweat, tremble, and shake.” One officer commented that he thought Corey might even collapse.

On cross-examination, all three of the officers were asked about the last time they had fired their service weapons, and why they had not placed paper bags over Lyons’s hands at the time of his arrest. The questions were designed to provide foundation for the defense’s assertion that the gunshot residue that was found on Lyons’s hands could have been the result of unintentional contamination by the officers who arrested him.

Testimony will continue later in the week, after a brief recess was granted to the prosecution to deal with a personal emergency.

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