SAN DIEGO — A 23-year-old man accused of gunning down his parents in their Point Loma home must stand trial on murder charges that could lead to the death penalty if he’s convicted, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Peter David Haynes, who has been diagnosed with a form of schizophrenia, was arrested on Nov. 28, 2014.
The defendant shot his 61-year-old mother the morning after Thanksgiving, then ambushed his father, Dr. David Haynes, when the 62-year-old emergency room physician came downstairs to check on his wife, Lissa, according to evidence presented at today’s preliminary hearing.
Courtney Gant, who lives next door, testified that she heard screaming, yelling and what sounded like gunshots about 3 a.m.
The witness testified that 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 a wounded David Haynes after another officer kicked the front door in.
“He (David Haynes) said, `My son shot me,”’ the officer testified.
When he asked the wounded man why his son shot him, David Haynes responded, “He’s schizophrenic,” according to Green.
Officer Andrew Korenkov testified that an armed but confused Peter Haynes was arrested without incident sometime after 6:30 a.m. near the crime scene.
Deputy Medical Examiner Steven Campman testified that Lissa Haynes was shot once in the chest and her husband was shot nine times. Campman said David Haynes was probably shot once in the upper abdomen, then a number of times in the back. A shot to the victim’s right side struck his spinal cord and would have rendered him paralyzed from the chest down, Campman said.
After David Haynes was shot, the phone line to the 911 operator remained open, with the victim seemingly writhing in pain before his moaning stopped.
A family member told authorities that David Haynes had an interest in guns, which he used to bond with the defendant.
Detective Anna Yankovich testified that an AR-15 rifle was found during a search of David Haynes’ bedroom.
Judge Laura Halgren ruled that enough evidence was presented for the defendant to stand trial on two counts of murder and special circumstance allegations of lying in wait and multiple murders.
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis will decide later whether the defendant will face the death penalty or life in prison without parole if he’s convicted. A Superior Court arraignment was set for Feb. 22.