ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. – The man who pleaded guilty to 14 charges last month for shooting his wife and two neighbors, one of whom died, in April 2016 will serve the rest of his life in prison without a chance for parole.
An 18th Judicial District Court judge sentenced Kevin Lee Lyons to life in prison without parole, plus 352 years, in court on Monday.
He pleaded guilty to more than a dozen charges in early May for the shooting of his wife and two neighbors. One of the neighbors, Dr. Kenneth Atkinson, died in the shooting. Lyons’ wife and the other neighbor suffered non-life threatening injuries.
18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler had said he’d considered pursuing the death penalty against Lyons—something that has been used less and less under Gov. John Hickenlooper. Only three inmates currently remain on the state’s death row.
Lyons’ wife told investigators her husband had been “acting weird” in the days before the shooting last April and suggested he go see a physician.
He snapped, according to investigators, pulled out a gun and started shooting. When neighbors came over to help, he shot them too.
Lyons’ competency to stand trial was questioned in the days after his initial arrest, though he was found to be competent last June.
Around two-dozen people testified in court Monday ahead of Lyons’ final sentencing, which is what was stipulated as part of his plea deal.