Clearlake man sentenced in murder, but lawyer says jury got the wrong man
The last words Steven Galvin uttered to police before he died nearly two years ago after being shot in broad daylight in a Clearlake neighborhood included the name of a man he said pulled the trigger.
A police officer’s body camera video shows Galvin, on the ground, saying the man’s name as paramedics treated his wounds.
But jurors convicted a different man in the July 2, 2015 homicide.
On Monday, Billy Raymond Mount, 37, of Clearlake was sentenced in Galvin’s killing to ?17 years in state prison and an additional 45-years-to-life term for second-degree murder plus enhancements because the crime involved a firearm and gang connections.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Art Grothe said the jury believed investigators’ assertion that Galvin didn’t actually see the shooter and gave police the name of a man with whom he had disagreements, and that a different man, Mount, fired the deadly shots. Mount was convicted in August.
But Mount’s lawyer David Kelvin said the jury convicted the wrong man. Mount since August has attempted unsuccessfully to get a new trial. He filed a notice to appeal Monday, according to Kelvin.
“The whole thing is a travesty,” Kelvin said. “This is a guy who will sit in prison for the rest of his life and the guilty guy is walking free.”
On July 2, 2015, Galvin was walking on 35th Avenue near Eureka Avenue about 3:40 p.m. when he was shot. A witness told police he heard two gunshots and saw a white pickup truck drive away, according to a narrative of the investigation provided in a probation report.
Paramedics found Galvin lying on the street with gunshot wounds to his side and back.
“Hey Steven, Steven, who did this to you?” an investigator asked, according to the narrative.
“Um...a guy named Cyclopes (sic),” Galvin said.
The investigator asked again, and Galvin gave the same name. Galvin would later die at St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake.
Within hours of the shooting, police had detained a man named David Cox who goes by the name “Cyclops.” Cox and Galvin had argued the morning of the shooting because, according to Cox, Galvin had taken his electronic tablet and cellphone, documents show.
In an interview with police, Cox denied any involvement in Galvin’s killing. But using water from a cup, he wrote a name on the table with his finger: “Billy Mount.”
Investigators suspect Cox was also angry at Mount, and they were both involved with the Barbarian Brotherhood gang, Grothe said. It’s possible Mount committed the shooting in order to appease Cox by doing harm to a man who had taken his things, the prosecutor said.
Mount’s lawyer said he believes Cox pulled the trigger, and was being protected by people connected to the gang.
“They got the wrong guy,” he said.