SANTA ROSA — The suspect in the fatal shooting of an engaged Midwest couple on a secluded Sonoma Coast beach near Jenner nearly 14 years ago pleaded not guilty in Sonoma County Superior Court Thursday morning.
Shaun Gallon, 39, of Forestville, is charged with killing Lindsay Cutshall, 22, of Ohio, and Jason Allen, 26, of Michigan around Aug. 18, 2004.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office announced his arrest on May 5, 2017.
The beach murders are consolidated in a complaint that also charges Gallon with the fatal shooting of his brother Shamus Michael Gallon, 36, in Forestville on March 24, 2017, and the attempted bombing murder of John Robles and/or Paroneh Level in Guerneville on June 10, 2004.
Gallon pleaded not guilty on April 12, 2017 to his brother’s slaying and he pleaded not guilty Thursday morning to the attempted bombing murder.
Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Robert LaForge set Dec. 7 for a preliminary hearing on the charges in the three incidents. Sonoma County Chief Deputy District Attorney Spencer Brady told the court the preliminary hearing is expected to last three days.
Gallon’s attorney Jeff Mitchell asked for a January preliminary hearing because of other cases he is involved with, and he said he has received 3,000 pages of discovery related to the complaint. LaForge agreed with Brady that the beach murders case is a priority and he set the preliminary for early December.
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After the brief hearing Thursday morning, Brady said the two murders and one attempted murder will be treated as one case because they are in a similar class of crimes and some evidence in the three cases is cross admissible.
The district attorney’s office has not decided if it will seek the death penalty for Gallon in the beach murders case, Brady said.
The complaint states an assault rifle was used in the three murders. Detectives talked to Gallon after his arrest for his brother’s murder, and he told them information only Cutshall’s and Allen’s killer would know, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.
Cutshall and Allen were working at a Christian youth white water rafting camp in El Dorado County in August 2004. They went on a three-day sightseeing trip in Northern California that included a visit to Fish Head Beach near Jenner. Their bodies were found in their sleeping bags on Aug. 18.
In the attempted murder bombing case, Robles and Level were in a relationship, and it’s believed the bomb was intended for Robles. The device exploded when Level moved the package containing the device that was left on top of a vehicle, according to the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office.
Level suffered hand, arm and facial injuries.
Shamus Gallon was shot and died in the family’s home in the 9800 block of River Road. The brothers’ mother reported the shooting to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office and informed them Shaun Gallon was driving a Ford Aerostar minivan. Gallon was taken into custody at a convenience market.