Two Fresno Attorneys Killed in Santa Barbara

May 5, 2009 12:20:52 AM PDT
Neighbors in Santa Barbara called police after hearing a series of gunshots coming from the couple's home. The SWAT team eventually entered the house, and discovered the bodies of Daniel Lyons, and Barbara Scharton."We're in shock. It's unfortunate, to say the least. We don't know all of the details, we're putting the pieces together," said neighbor Belinda Olivera.

Police put enough pieces together to arrest Corey Lyons. He is Daniels' brother. Police aren't discussing a motive, but there were apparently problems between Daniel Lyons and his brother, who is a building contractor. John Skiles, a friend of the couple says he knew very little about the conflict.

"Apparantly there was some issues with the construction of the house down there that I think the brother was involved in," said Skiles.

John Skiles is an Assistant District Attorney in Fresno County. He went to the San Joaquin College of Law with Scharton and worked with her at the DA's office where she was in charge of prosecuting medical marijuana cases. He believes she left the office about five years ago.

"Just an amazingly sweet woman and you wouldn't think that watching her in a court room." Skiles said.

Through his friendship with Scharton, Skiles became friends with Daniel Lyons. According to his company website Lyons specialized in defending companies in lawsuits. Skiles describes him as, "Just a genuinely nice guy, and also a very tough litigator."

Daniel Lyons was 55 years old. He was a senior partner at the McCormick Barstow Law firm. He worked at the company's offices in Fresno, and in Santa Barbara. His co-workers were too upset to talk.

The firm issued a written statement, saying, "The attorney's and staff at McCormick Barstow are grief stricken to hear of the deaths of Dan Lyons and Barbara Scharton. Dan was a senior partner and was an outstanding colleague and friend for nearly 30 years. Barbara was his life partner. We are devastated at the loss of Dan and Barbara."

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