A 79-year-old Costa Mesa man was sentenced to six years in state prison after pleading guilty to the mercy killing of his ailing wife.
Kenneth Joseph Leake shot 72-year-old Doris Leake, his bride of 50 years, four times in the head and once in the wrist as she was napping in September 2009.
When officers arrived, a .32 caliber handgun was on the dining room table of the Leake home, and the husband was arrested outside.
His wife, though having suffered from numerous health issues before the shooting, had been expected to survive. The Orange County District Attorney's office originally charged Ken Leake with felony attempted murder and elder abuse with sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a firearm, personal use
of a deadly weapon, personal discharge of a firearm, personally
inflicting great bodily injury, and personally inflicting great bodily
injury to an elder. All those counts and enhancements carried a maximum 60-year prison sentence.
But Doris Leake would die in a local hospital three weeks after the shooting.
Her husband pleaded guilty Friday to felony involuntary manslaughter.