OC Man Sentenced for Mercy Killing of Wife

Kenneth Leake, 79, gets six years in prison for fatally shooting ailing wife

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    An elderly Costa Mesa man was sentenced to six years in prison for fatally shooting his ailing wife in the head multiple times in what he described as an act of mercy.

    Kenneth Leake, 79, pleaded guilty to felony voluntary manslaughter on Friday, Orange County prosecutor Matt Murphy said. Leake was sentenced to six years in prison, with credit for four years already served, Murphy said.

    Leake -- described as a "devoted husband" -- and his wife Doris were married for 52 years, Murphy said.

    In September 2009, Kenneth Leake fatally shot his 72-year-old wife in the head four times while she was sleeping. The woman was suffering from "pretty severe health issues," Murphy said.

    Family members of the Leakes were crying outside the courtroom following the sentence, Murphy said.

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