San Diego

Man, 92, Sentenced for Killing Adult Son in Old Town Home

Richard Landis Peck, 92, shot and killed his son, Robert Landis Peck, 53, in their shared home in Old Town San Diego on Nov. 14, 2018; Richard Peck ran to a neighbor's home and reported what he did following the shooting

A 92-year-old San Diego man who shot and killed his adult son in their Old Town home last fall was sentenced Thursday to three years of probation, home confinement, and monitoring. 

Richard Landis Peck pleaded guilty on Feb. 7 to one count of felony voluntary manslaughter after he fatally shot his son, Robert Landis Peck, 53, while the victim was asleep in their shared home on Nov. 14, 2018. 

Richard Peck received a stipulated sentence on a plea deal Thursday. He attended his sentencing hearing in a wheelchair and learned his fate from Judge Kathleen Lewis.

Lewis said Richard Peck would be on probation and home confinement for the next three years and would have to wear a monitoring device. He will be allowed to leave his home to go to the grocery store, physical and mental health appointments, church and to seek out arrangements to possibly move to an assisted living facility. The judge said Richard Peck would also pay a fine of $4,845.

After the shooting, San Diego police said the elder Peck ran to a neighbor's house saying that he had shot his son. The neighbor called police and waited with Richard Peck for officers to arrive. Richard Peck was taken into custody that day. 

Defense Attorney Doug Gilliland argued that the shooting was motivated by self-defense against an alcoholic son who bombarded the elderly father with psychological abuse.

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 the attorney. 

"He was going downhill fast when he was being abused on a daily basis and he's actually recovered a bit that," said Marilyn Peck Hall, Richard Peck's daughter. "He feels horrible about the whole tragedy. I don't know how he's hanging in there."

Richard Peck is also being sued by Robert Peck's estranged ex-wife, Annette, and their son, Ryan, for wrongful death. Annette Peck filed the multi-million dollar suit in January 2019.

"You know, that's really the only sister I ever had and when I found out she would sue my father after my father took Robbi in, there's no words other than I was hurt," Hall said.

At the time of Robert Peck's death, he had a blood-alcohol level nearly five times the legal limit as well as prescription drugs in his system, Lewis said.

"I love my brother," Hall said. "I always thought someday we might be able to reconcile, I really did. But I think I really lost my brother to alcohol a long time ago."

The nonagenarian initially pleaded not guilty to the charge against him. 

As the trial continued, prosecutors attempted to argue the elder Peck was a danger to society but in November, a judge agreed to cut Peck's bail in half, citing the need to grant "some humanity" in the case. 

"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," San Diego Superior Court Judge Jay Bloom said at the time. "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 initially faced 50 years to life in prison if convicted.

But, after a change of plea in February 2019, Bloom said Peck would be sentenced to probation for three years with home detention and monitoring.

Lewis said she agreed to the sentencing under the plea agreement because of Richard Peck's age, health and a litany of instances of elder abuse.

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