DOWNTOWN — A 20-year-old man charged in connection with the 2008 death of his father will not face jail time after pleading this week to lesser charges.
Noah Loock, of Burbank, pleaded no contest Tuesday in Pasadena Superior Court to one count of misdemeanor battery stemming from a fight with his father, Timothy Loock, an assistant football coach at Burbank High School.
Noah Loock was sentenced to eight days in jail, but will not spend additional time behind bars based on credit for time served, prosecutors said. The deal specifies that he spend three years on probation, complete 120 hours of community service and attend anger management classes.
His attorney, Lewis Romero, said the father and son were in a struggle that got out of hand. Neither wanted to hurt the other and no one used deadly force, Romero said.
"Noah had a legal right to self-defense after being assaulted by his father, whom he loved," Romero said. "How much should a child who is now a man take? This just happened to be the day where Noah said, 'I am not going to take this anymore.'"
Immediate family and several of Timothy Loock's friends and co-workers wrote letters on Noah's behalf. And while Deputy Dist. Atty. Rusty Moore called the outcome a "fair resolution," one family member said it amounted to little more than a slap on the wrist.
Noah Loock had faced one felony count of involuntary manslaughter.
"Am I happy with it? Yes and no," said Kathy Loock, Timothy's sister. "I would have liked to see a harsher penalty. I have seen people get jail terms for less serious crimes. However, at least now Noah will be forced to face some consequences for the events of Nov. 29, ."
The incident occurred shortly before 2 p.m. when police responded to a reported fight between father and son at their home in the 1800 block of North Avon Street.
Timothy Loock, 48, was rendered unconscious after the altercation and taken to Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Investigators said the pair had gotten into a argument after Noah Loock, then 18, took a family car against his father's wishes. Timothy Loock ended the argument when he literally kicked his son out the front door of the house, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing.
Noah Loock went around the back of the home to retrieve his keys and wallet when he was confronted by his father. The two got into a pushing match, and Noah Loock responded to his father's punches by throwing the final blow, according to the testimony.
He was taken into custody, booked on suspicion of murder and spent three days in jail. He would later spend another day in jail following his second arrest.
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office filed charges after the Los Angeles County coroner ruled the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head and neck. An expert analysis prepared for the defense concluded that the findings were "incomplete and fatally flawed."
Kathy Loock sought to clarify that as an attorney, she believes in the judicial system, and I "trusted the district attorney's office and Russell Moore did what they thought was right."
Timothy Loock, an all-league wide receiver for the class of 1978 at Burbank High School, went on to coach receivers and defensive backs. He worked in the entertainment industry as a post-production editor for nearly 30 years, most recently at Technicolor Creative Services in Hollywood.
Noah Loock, a 2008 graduate of Burroughs High School, recently completed his first year on a scholarship at the San Francisco Art Institute. Described as a talented artist, the family gathered around Noah Loock, unwilling to lose another one of its members over what many perceived to be a tragic accident.
The legal process has been excruciating for all involved, family members said. Timothy's brothers, Joel and Paul Loock, described a deeply religious family.
"Noah is my godson, and he's my brother Paul's godson, and we always protect our own," Joel Loock said. "We were brought up in a very close environment, and we always stand by each other, especially during tragic events.
"We're not happy with the decision. What we're happy about is at least this can come to an end."