Arrest made after fatal shooting of beloved Menifee coach

MENIFEE — Authorities yesterday announced the arrest of a Bakersfield man they say was responsible for the shooting death of a beloved Menifee coach who was shot in front of his 13-year-old son last June. The fatal shooting happened outside the victim’s home in the 29000 block of Light Sails Court, in Menifee’s Heritage Lake community.

The victim, 38-year-old, Claudell Garland Walter, was coming home from competing with his team when the now-arrested gunman ran up and shot him multiple times as he was getting out of his pickup truck, DTermined Basketball wrote in a Facebook post after the fatal shooting.

DTermined Basketball in Corona was a program Claudell co-founded and was created to help young aspiring athletes succeed both on the court and in life.

The father of two has been described by friends, family and other loved ones as a passionate basketball coach, an honest and caring person, and someone who would do anything for those he cared about.


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Officials began investigating Walter’s homicide Saturday, June 1, after responding to reports of shots fired inside a residential neighborhood shortly before 10 p.m., officials reported at the time.

When they arrived they found Walter in front of his home suffering from several gunshot wounds. Although he was rushed to an area hospital, he succumbed to his injuries and passed away.

His 13-year-old son, who had been sitting mere feet from his father when he was shot, was uninjured in the shooting.

Officials arrested Othelon Lyons for the June shooting death of beloved Menifee coach and father, 38-year-old, Claudell Walter. RSO booking photo

As their investigation continued, Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit investigators gathered information and developed leads that led them to identifying 30-year-old, Othelon Lyons, of Bakersfield, as the person responsible for Walter’s death.

According to CHU Sgt. Wallace Clear, on Saturday, Dec. 21, investigators arrested Lyons at Delano State Prison, where he was already serving time for an unrelated crime.

SEE ORIGINAL REPORT: Investigation continuing after deadly Menifee shooting

He was subsequently transported back to Riverside County, where he was booked into Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside on suspicion of first degree murder. He remains held without bail.

Anyone who may have information related to this ongoing investigation is encouraged to contact Investigator Gonzales of the Central Homicide Unit at (951) 955-2777. Callers can refer to incident file number ME191520111 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s Homicide Tipline online form.

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Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 16 grandchildren.