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Man sentenced to 100 years in prison for killing parents

SAN DIEGO -- A mentally ill man who fatally shot his parents in their Point Loma home the day after Thanksgiving 2014 was sentenced Friday to 100 years to life in state prison.

Peter Haynes, 25, pleaded guilty in March to a pair of first-degree murder charges and personal use of a firearm in the deaths of Dr. David Haynes, 62, and Lissa Haynes, 61.

Under the Youthful Offender law, the defendant could request a parole hearing after 25 years behind bars, said Superior Court Judge Laura Halgren.

 

Deputy Public Defender Mignon Hilts said the defendant had a psychotic breakdown and was using drugs just before the murders, but his parents thought they could deal with him at home rather than have him hospitalized.

"No one ever saw this coming," the defense attorney said.

The defendant shot his mother in the early morning of Nov. 28, 2014, then ambushed his father when the emergency room physician came downstairs to check on his wife.

Courtney Gant, who lives next door, testified last year that she heard screaming, yelling and what sounded like gunshots about 3 a.m. The witness said she looked down into the victims' kitchen and saw someone walking, then heard a male voice say, "He shot her in the chest. I think she's dead."

Gant said she saw the silhouette of a man consistent with Peter Haynes standing outside a sliding glass door holding a gun. She said she was on the phone with a 911 operator when she heard a man scream, then three to four more shots.

San Diego police Officer Bradford Green testified that he found Lissa Haynes' lifeless body and her wounded husband -- who had been shot nine times -- after another officer kicked in the front door. Both victims were pronounced dead at a hospital.

"He (David Haynes) said, `My son shot me,' " the officer testified.

When he asked the physician why his son shot him, the father responded, "He's schizophrenic," according to Green.

Dr. Kevin Haynes said he is still haunted by the memory of finding his brother and sister-in-law shot in their home.

"We all know what Peter did," he said. "We're devastated by what Peter did. Peter's lack of remorse makes it more difficult."

He told the judge that he and his family wouldn't feel safe if his nephew were to be paroled, but the defendant said he would not be a danger if released.

"I would never want to murder anyone else," the defendant said.

The judge said Peter Haynes told a probation officer that he wanted to tell his parents he was sorry and would "take it all back if he could."