Elderly man who killed ailing wife as she slept gets prison time

Orange County prosecutors said they are satisified with an arrangement under which a 79-year-old Costa Mesa man who shot his ailing wife five times while she slept was sentenced to six years in prison.

Kenneth Leake pleaded guilty Friday to one felony count of voluntary manslaughter. A felony count of murder and a sentencing enhancement for personal use of a firearm were dismissed, court records show.

“Every case is different, and after carefully investigating this as well as consulting with the family [and] the detectives involved, it’s very clear this is the appropriate sentence given the circumstances of what he did,” said Orange County prosecutor Matt Murphy.


Leake received credit for the 1,482 days, or just over four years, he has served since his arrest, according to Farrah Emami, spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney’s office.

About noon Sept. 17, 2009, Leake shot his 72-year-old wife, Doris, four times in the head and once in the wrist, according to prosecutors. She never regained consciousness and died Oct. 8, 2009.

Police arrested Leake outside his eastside Costa Mesa home after a neighbor reported that Leake was outside screaming, according to reports at the time.

The Leakes were married for more than 50 years. Doris Leake suffered from a number of health issues at the time of her death, according to prosecutors.


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