A 92-year-old former San Diego deputy city attorney pleaded guilty last week to voluntary manslaughter and will be placed on probation. Richard Peck shot his allegedly abusive son as he slept on November 14, 2018.
Peck's son, Robert "Robbie" Peck, 51, moved into his father's home in San Diego in the middle of a divorce early last year. Peck's attornies told the judge Robbie was an alcoholic who consistently abused his father after moving in. According to Peck's defense team, Robbie smashed his father's phone (Peck's only connection to the outside world), made threatning comments, and went to bed. Shortly thereafter, Peck shot Robbie in the head with a shotgun and went into the street and yelled for help.
Robbie had allegedly once thrown a vase at his elderly father and often screamed in his father's ear, in hopes the older man would die of a heart attack. Police had been called to the Peck home 14 times the previous summer, and the son was once committed for a mental health evaluation. He also tried to force his father to amend his will, leaving more money to Robbie than to Peck's daughter.
Peck was arrested and jailed on a murder charge. Deputy District Attorney Daniel Shim called the shooting an "execution" while Robbie slept. Over Shim's objection, a judge cut Peck's $1 million bail in half and allowed his release from jail.
Shim has since agreed to a plea deal with Peck and the judge dismissed the murder charge. As part of the agreement, Peck will be placed on probation for three years, with home detention and a GPS ankle bracelet when he is sentenced on March 28.
Voluntary manslaughter is legally defined as taking a human life in the heat of passion, without malice. Under the law, the maxium punishment for voluntary manslaughter is 11 years in state prison.
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