GRANTS PASS, Oregon (ABC4 News) – The family of two Utah men who were shot and killed during an argument in Oregon in 2018 are speaking out after the suspect was found not guilty of murder last week.
Trevor Gilmore, who shot and killed Justin Severnak, 38, and Christopher Wayne Lyon, 42, was acquitted on both aggravated murder charges and three unlawful use of weapon charges, but found guilty of one lesser count of manslaughter in the death of only Christopher Lyon.
After a two week trial, Josephine County Judge Matthew Galli ruled Gilmore acted in self-defense the night of November 23, 2018 when he shot the two men and believed Gilmore did not mean to kill Lyon.
The men’s niece, Selena Borg said she feels like their lives were ripped apart on the day they were taken from their family.
“Hearing that he basically got off easy from killing 2 of the most amazing men I knew.. doesn’t sit right with us,” said Borg. “We are sick to our stomach, we feel like justice was not served. He deserves to sit in jail forever.. we will never see our family again, but he can and will be free in 8 years? How do you say justice was served? My heart hurts for our whole family.”
Lyon’s longtime girlfriend, Jetaime Carter said she doesn’t think anyone deserved to die and Gilmore took two lives of two men who were someone’s boyfriend, husband, friend, uncle, son and father and it will affect them every single day.
“Every single day I wake up I have anxiety from the misery of this tragic event and loss that has changed my life forever,” said Carter. “This is not justice, it’s not fair that we get to suffer with misery, anxiety, nightmares and some sort of depression every single day forever, while Trevor gets to be free and live life with his family. This is not Justice!”
Police said Severnak’s and his wife had been in an argument so she went to the home of Gilmore’s ex-wife and kids where he was over visiting.
Just before 3 a.m., police said Severnak and Lyon showed up at the house and pushed their way inside where there were several children and teenagers present. Severnak was yelling aggressively and had threatened to harm them physically so Gilmore went to the bedroom and grabbed a gun and returned to tell the men to leave, police said. The men reportedly refused leave to without Severnak’s wife.
Witnesses said during the chaos, Gilmore fired several bullets toward Severnak. Three of the bullets hit Severnak in the back, killing him, and one of the bullets struck Lyon, who police said was not being aggressive during the incident.
Documents state Severnak was not armed but they did find a holstered gun on Lyon’s body.
“This was an incredibly sad situation and my heart goes out to all of the children involved,” said Gilmore’s attorney David Mcdonald.
Gilmore faces 10 years in prison when he is sentenced sometime in July.
Interested in true crime? Check out our Justice Files series.