A judge cut bail in half Tuesday for a 92-year-old man accused of shooting and killing his son in their Old Town home, noting that there needs to be "some humanity" in the case.
Bail for Richard Landis Peck was lowered from a half-million dollars to $250,000 after attorneys argued Tuesday whether or not the elderly man posed a risk to the public.
Richard Peck is suspected of shooting his 51-year-old son, Robert Landis Peck, while he was asleep in their home last Thursday. He was arrested and booked into jail on first-degree murder charges, which he pleaded not guilty to.
Defense Attorney Doug Gilliland argued the shooting was motivated by self-defense against an alcoholic son who bombarded the 92-year-old man with psychological abuse and asked the judge to allow him to return home.
The prosecution said Richard Peck was a danger and that the shooting, "was not a case of self-defense. This was basically an execution."
"While Mr. Peck may be 92 years old, he is able to wield weapons, he’s able to wield a shotgun, he’s able to fire a shotgun and he’s able to kill people."
San Diego Superior Court Judge Jay Bloom was momentarily torn on how to proceed but ultimately sided with the defense.
"The problem with this kind of case is that what he did is terrible and wrong. On the other hand, you’re dealing with a 92-year-old gentleman," Bloom said. "In my mind, sending him to jail with the timing the way it is now is basically a death sentence for him, too."
Richard Peck faces 50 years to life in prison if convicted.
If bail is posted, he is ordered to wear a GPS ankle bracelet and must remain under house arrest except for doctor's visits and court appearance.
Last Thursday, officers responded to a 911 call from a neighbor who reported the elder Peck called out for help and said he had just shot his son, the San Diego Police Department said.
Richard Peck was across the street at a neighbor's house when officers arrived.
Gilliland said on the night of the shooting, Robert Peck smashed his father's landline, which was his primary mode of communication, and threatened him before bed. Richard Peck was afraid to go to sleep that night, according to Gilliland.
Robert Peck was going through a divorce and had recently moved into his father's home, according to court records.