Two Homicides, Three Trials, One Conviction, and Life Without Parole

June 1 – Santa Barbara

Corey Lyons was sentenced to life without parole for the killings

In what has been one of the area’s most sensational criminal cases of the decade, Corey Lyons, convicted of lying in wait to shotgun his brother and his brother’s girlfriend, was sentenced on May 30th to begin serving a life sentence without possibility of parole.

In a packed courtroom before Superior Court Judge Brian Hill—himself a former Assistant District Attorney—Lyons and his attorney Robert Sanger listened to a smattering of statements in support of leniency which were overshadowed by dramatic pleas for maximum legal punishment.

Judge Brian Hill presided over the sentencing

The convicted’s own older brother, Dr. Tom Lyons, spoke passionately about the devastating impact of the double murders upon the remaining members of the Lyons family, saying in court that his younger brother had “destroyed that which you claimed to care for the most—your own family.”  The mother of the Lyons brothers, on the other hand, submitted a letter addressed to the court in support of Corey, pleading for some hope of eventual release for him from prison.

“This is obviously a tragedy for the Lyons family,” Judge Hill said from the bench, adding “I don’t think anybody looking at this case would have anything but sympathy.”

Prior to the December 21, 2010 conviction on charges of multiple murder, murder for financial gain, and the use of a firearm in commission of a felony, the prosecution had failed to make their case in a mistrial and a subsequent hung jury, with a vote of 7-5 for acquittal.

Ron Zonen was brought out of retirement to lead the prosecution

At that point, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley “went to the well” and recruited veteran Assistant D.A. Ron Zonen to come out of retirement to face the estimable defense counsel Robert Sanger, Esq..  At that time, Sanger was quoted as saying “a jury cannot convict on motive”, holding firm on the contention that Lyons had been made “a patsy” by the Santa Barbara Police who had committed several egregious errors in investigating the case.  With respect to the prospect of multiple retrials on the same evidence, “It’s just plain unfair,” Sanger said.

Attorney Robert Sanger stated that he will file an appeal

While both victims had been shot with different firearms on different floors of a luxury residence at the same time, no weapons were ever found, and it was never conclusively established that Corey Lyons had been in the residence when the shootings took place.

Immediately following the sentencing hearing, attorney Sanger indicated to the court that he intends to file a notice of appeal.

Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking, Sanger & Swysen, Facebook

Read More:

Noozhawk: Corey Lyons Sentenced to Two Life Terms in Prison for 2009 Killings

Santa Barbara Independent: Corey Lyons Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Parole

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Two Homicides, Three Trials, One Conviction, and Life Without Parole was last modified: January 11th, 2019 by admin
Categories: Santa Barbara