Santa Ana : Judge Finds 16-Year-Old Guilty in Father’s Death


An Orange County Superior Court judge has found 16-year-old Donald Frank Coday guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of his father last March.

Coday, who testified that he killed his father to escape punishment, will return to court Feb. 21 for sentencing. Judge James F. Judge can either send him to state prison for 25 years to life or commit him to the California Youth Authority.

Judge, after issuing his verdict at the end of a non-jury trial in Santa Ana Tuesday, ordered Coday to be sent to the Youth Authority immediately for a 90-day diagnostic study to help guide the judge in sentencing.


The Fullerton teen-ager admitted shooting his father, Rex Coday, 47, eight times as his father opened the door to the family home on March 23. He said that he was facing punishment by his mother and that his father always backed her up. The shooting, he said, was the result of years of physical and emotional abuse by both parents.

Judge, who said the shooting was clearly a case of premeditated murder, issued his ruling immediately at the conclusion of the trial.