Man accused of strangling father in Rancho Santa Fe home enters insanity plea
VISTA, Calif. – A man accused of beating and choking his 71-year-old father to death in the victim’s Rancho Santa Fe home pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to a murder charge Tuesday.
Leighton Dorey IV, 41, is accused in the May 2017 killing of Leighton Dorey III, whose body was discovered by his wife in a back room of their home. An autopsy revealed the victim suffered blunt force injuries to his head, neck and upper body and was strangled.
The defendant had been living in France for the past few years and had returned to the United States about a week before his father was killed.
The younger Dorey showed up out of the blue at his father’s home on May 30, driving a Jeep, according to authorities. He was arrested the following day in the Riverside County mountain community of Idyllwild.
Deputy District Attorney Patricia Lavermicocca alleged the defendant wanted financial support from his father, but the father was unwilling to give it to him.
Dorey, who faces a potential life without parole sentence if convicted of murder and a special circumstance allegation of torture, is due back in court March 25 to see how his case will proceed following his new plea.
Dorey’s trial was previously set for May.