California resident found guilty for murder that went unsolved for 13 years

by Langston J.

On August 18, 2004, the bodies of a couple were found dead near a cliff in Northern California. A helicopter pilot, who was supposed to be saving the life of a teenager that was falling off a cliff, spotted two strangers laying on the ground. They weren’t moving and were showing no reaction to the sudden loud noises of the helicopter. The pilot suspected death and dialed the police immediately.

Lindsay Cutshall (22) and Jason Allen (26) lay near the Russian River in Jenner, California. For a whopping 13 years, their killer remained anonymous, but recently, officials have come to the conclusion that Shaun Gallon (39), a local who had grown up near the Russian River and was known to the police, was the killer.

Cutshall and Allen at the Russian River. Credits to the Sacramento Bee

Only a bit more than a year ago, Shaun Gallon was arrested for yet another crime, which was unrelated to his murder of the couple near the Russian River. He was suspected of killing his brother, and faced murder charges.

Gallon has a piecemeal criminal past, and in 2009, he was put in prison for shooting an arrow into an open convertible. After his incident with his brother in 2017, police comprehended that they should dig further into his criminal record.

“…it took the 2017 murder arrest for detectives to question Gallon on the double-murder even further. Eventually, he gave deputies ‘information about the killings that no other person could have known,’ Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas said last year,” (quote from the Sacramento Bee).

For an unknown reason, Gallon shot the couple while they were sleeping, and according to a sheriff’s officer, he used a .45-caliber Marlin rifle. Gallon was a stranger to both Cutshall and Allen, as he did not have anything against them, neither did he want revenge.

He went to court at during the middle of May, and is set to have another trial on June 19 to finalize the police’s suspections and charges. “It was not our goal to have separate trials,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Spencer Brady said to Bay City News.

Sonoma County Public Defender Kathleen Pozzi spoke with the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.“There is no question that he suffers from mental illness,” Pozzi said. Also, she believes there should be separate trials for all criminal charges in Gallon’s past. “You can’t add weak cases together to strengthen them,” she states.

When Gallon allegedly murdered the couple, he was also facing other charges. “He was convicted of weapons charges, theft, drunken driving, resisting arrest, and hunting abalone (an edible mollusk) without the necessary paperwork,” the Chronicle reports.

Sadly, Cutshall and Allen were planning a wedding, which would’ve taken place in Ohio.

“We would like to thank the heartfelt concern of the people of Jenner and Sonoma County. We have appreciated your support for this case throughout our thirteen-year ordeal,” the sheriff’s office states.


Sources: NBC Bay Area, Bay City News, CBS, and the Sacramento Bee



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