SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A Poway man whose son was at their home with a 17-year-old friend who shot himself to death with a loaded rifle left in the defendant's kitchen pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge of improper storage of a loaded firearm and was immediately sentenced to three years probation.
Kevin Brennick, 50, must take parenting and firearm safety classes and perform 40 hours of community service. He can apply to have the conviction dismissed after successfully completing 18 months on probation.
The premise of the unlawful storage charge was that the defendant knew or reasonably should have known that a child was likely to gain access to the firearm without parental permission and thereby cause death or great bodily injury.
Brennick will not be allowed to own or possess firearms while he's on probation, said his attorney, Michael Crowley.
Brennick did the "noble" thing by admitting guilt in the case involving the death of Luke Lipscomb, even though he had viable defenses had the case gone to trial, Crowley said.
"It would have put the family of the Lipscombs through a great deal of extra anguish and he's very sorry for the loss of their son and what happened at his home," Crowley said outside the courtroom. "He (Brennick) agreed to have some closure both for the family and for himself on this case."
Crowley said Brennick has changed his opinion about guns and now does not favor having firearms in any residence.
Most of Brennick's firearms were secured in safes in his home, but the .22-caliber rifle used in Lipscomb's death was left unsecured in the kitchen and was used by the defendant to keep "varmints" away from his backyard in rural Poway, Crowley said.
Even though Brennick will do no jail time, Crowley said the plea was an "acceptable" disposition of the case and said Brennick accepted responsibility for what he did.
A civil action is pending, Crowley said.
The attorney said the Lipscombs and the Brennicks were "close" before Luke Lipscomb died. Crowley said the Lipscombs have since moved out of the neighborhood.
The teen shot himself between the eyes on Nov. 4, 2011, in Brennick's home on Midland Road. The Poway High School junior died at a hospital two weeks later. No adults were present at the time of the shooting.
According to court documents, the boy was with his friends, including Brennick's son, smoking marijuana the night of the shooting.
He began hallucinating -- possibly because the cannabis was laced with a designer drug -- and hit himself in the head with a frying pan before shooting himself, according to a search warrant affidavit.
Only two days before preview night at Comic-Con kicks off and the streets of downtown San Diego on Monday night were being transformed in Comic-Con fever.
The San Diego City Council on Monday rejected Mayor Kevin Faulconer's plan regarding short term vacation rentals, but in a 6 to 3 vote approved City Councilwoman Barbara Bry's regulations plan.
The San Diego International Airport was granted $12.1 million in the Federal Aviation Administration's latest round of awards announced Monday.
A harbor seal with the most severe neck wound that SeaWorld's rescue team had ever seen was returned to the ocean after undergoing rehabilitation at the San Diego theme park.
Burglars hit a Little League snack bar sometime this weekend, ransacking it and taking items of food. The Vista National Little League's snack bar was torn apart and hundreds of dollars' worth of food was gone.
A dispute over perceived animal abuse on a Core- Columbia roadside led on Monday to a stabbing that left a pedestrian nursing a minor wound and a woman behind bars, authorities reported.
A horrifying scene at the zoo in New Orleans over the weekend after a jaguar escaped from its enclosure and killed several animals before finally being captured.
Triple Crown winner Justify has re-located to Del Mar where trainer Bob Baffert is keeping him under observation after swelling in his left front ankle emerged two weeks ago.
A man accused of stabbing a fellow passenger during a fight on a Greyhound bus, forcing the driver to pull over on the freeway near University City, pleaded not guilty on Monday to an attempted murder charge.