A convicted felon accused of gunning down a 38-year-old Menifee resident in his front yard pleaded not guilty Friday to first-degree murder.
Othelon Dale Lyons, 30, of Bakersfield allegedly killed Claudell Garland Walter in June.
Along with murder, Lyons is charged with a sentence-enhancing gun use allegation. He was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Stephen Gallon, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Feb. 7 at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
Lyons is being held without bail at the nearby Byrd Detention Center.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Wally Clear, on the night of June 1, Lyons allegedly went to Walter’s residence in the 29000 block of Light Sails Court, just east of Menifee Road, and confronted him with a handgun for reasons not specified.
Lyons shot the victim in the upper body, then fled the scene, Clear said.
Deputies and paramedics were summoned and found Walter gravely wounded. He was taken to a trauma center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Clear said detectives spent months investigating the homicide before identifying Lyons as the alleged shooter. He was serving a sentence at Delano State Prison when he was taken into custody, according to jail records.
Clear did not specify how investigators cracked the case.
Lyons has felony convictions in other jurisdictions, but court records did not contain details.
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