A man accused of beating and choking his 71-year-old father to death in the victim’s Rancho Santa Fe home must stand trial on a murder charge, with a special circumstance allegation of torture, a judge ruled Tuesday.
After a preliminary hearing that went into a second day, Vista Superior Court Judge David Danielsen said a prosecutor had produced enough evidence for Leighton Dorey IV to proceed to trial.
Dorey, 40, was arrested last May 31, a day after the body of Leighton Dorey III was discovered by his wife in a back room of their home.
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, authorities said.
The younger Dorey showed up out of the blue at his father’s home on May 30, driving a Jeep, according to authorities.
An autopsy revealed the victim suffered blunt force injuries to his head, neck and upper body and was strangled.
Deputy District Attorney Patricia Lavermicocca said the defendant wanted financial support from his father, but the father was unwilling to give it to him.
The defendant faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.
He will be back in court Aug. 6 for a readiness conference.
— City News Service