Is killing a child molester murder or manslaughter?

April 15, 2015
Brian Reid

Brian Reid

The lawyer for a Santa Maria man who shot and killed his father argued in a Santa Barbara County courtroom that shooting a man because he sexually molested your children is not murder, but manslaughter. [KSBY]

Trial began Tuesday for Brian Reid, a man who allegedly shot his parents during a 2012 Labor Day barbecue at an Orcutt park. During opening statements, the prosecution and defense agreed that Reid had known for nearly 10 years about allegations that his father, William Reid, was molesting his daughters.

Defense Attorney Robert Ikola argued that his client is only guilty of voluntary manslaughter. Ikola said Reid killed his father in a “heat of passion” after he was driven insane and his family life was ruined.

The prosecution did not dispute the molestation allegations. But, Santa Barbara County Deputy District Attorney Kevin Duffy argued the alleged molestation was not justification for Reid killing his father.

Reid’s mother, Pamela Reid, survived the shooting. She was 63 at the time, and her deceased husband was 73 years old.

Duffy said, on the day of the shooting, Reid armed himself with 40 caliber glock gun, coldly looked at his father and said, “I’m going to kill you.” Reid committed first-degree murder, and the prosecution will present evidence that he carefully and calculatedly planned to kill his parents, Duffy said.

Ikola said there were allegations that Reid’s father molested his three granddaughters for years and that he admitted to some of the allegations days before the shooting. The defense also says it has evidence Reid’s parents planned to accuse him of molesting his daughters, and Reid’s father was going to testify against him.

Following the molestation of his children, Reid lost his job, house, marriage and eventually his sanity, Ikola said.

After the shooting, Reid’s then 20-year-old daughter told the press that her grandfather was previously coming into her room at night and molesting her and her two sisters.


This guy is a hero! Killing an admitted child molester is an act of heroism, IMHO. AND YES, hearing it from the “horse’s mouth” and then saying we’re going to blame you! – who wouldn’t go out of their mind with rage!


Okay, so why do you also give him a pass for trying to kill his mother?


Mr. Reid,

I have sympathy for you and your family. What a horrendous thing that you must be dealing with. All of you.

I am, and we are not to judge what you have done. But I do feel your pain. And Jesus knows the pain from which you suffer. You were protecting your family. I hope it works out well for you.

I don’t know if you are a believer in Christ Jesus, but He is the one to turn to during this very difficult time in your life. He knows your heart.

God bless you and your family Mr. Reid.


I don’t blame this guy.

Knowing what his father had done would make anyone a bit crazy.

Justifiable homicide.


@ agag,

Well said.


“She was sentenced to 10 years in prison but won an appeal based on juror misconduct and was released after three years”.

Christian camp counselor sodomized her 7 year old son….and she shot him right in the courtroom.


Some crimes are worth committing. Fess up and serve your time knowing you did the right thing.


It is murder only because its the “unlawful” premeditated killing of one human being by another.

Perhaps its time to add it to the list of lawful premeditated taking of human life? I don’t agree with that but I would consider a 3rd degree or at a minimum manslaughter designation?

Dad’s need to protect their kids. Hopefully this was the reason.

JB Bronson

It is murder. Whatever civility we still have in this life is held together by due process.

We cannot begin to impose our own sentence before due process and think society as we know it will survive.


Your statements are contradictory.


If more people did this, watch how quickly society becomes more civil.


Yeah right…keep living in La La land


When “due process” is delayed or unjust, it is a failure. If you want due process to stay as a defining element of civilization, it must work correctly and, too often, it no longer does.

Unless it can be shown that the molestation accusations are incorrect, I would be inclined to vote for a lesser charge. “Jury nullification” may not be approved by our judicial system but it is a good counter to poor or ineffective laws.


I think it is neither murder nor manslaughter. Let’s make a new legal definition: “Heroic Homicide”.


What a sad story on so many levels, and I don’t even want to know what I would do if I was in the same situation.

To have our own father tell you he had been molesting your children is bad enough, and if the grandfather was then going to put blame on his own son, YIKES!

There are certainly some very sick people among us.


Don’t believe everything you hear- in a gossip rich town like Santa Maria things get twisted very quickly.