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89-year-old murder convict seeks compassionate release [Updated]

October 5, 2009 |  1:38 pm

A judge this afternoon will hear the plea for compassionate release of a World War II veteran who was convicted at age 77 of murdering his son-in-law and sentenced to life in prison.

Dick Keech, now 89, is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, must use a wheelchair and is unable to do anything by himself, said his attorney, Paul Mones. Keech was recommended for release on grounds of being “medically incapacitated” by the state Department of Corrections and by the parole board, Mones said.

[Corrected at 2 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Keech is 90 years old.]

Keech was sentenced to 35 years to life in prison in 1997 after being convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his son-in-law, Nick Candy, who was involved in child custody disputes with his daughter. Keech's attorneys at the time argued that the stress of having been a prisoner of war decades before caused Keech to snap when he shot Candy during an argument, followed him down the street and shot him four more times.

[Corrected at 3 p.m.: An earlier version of this post stated incorrectly that Keech was sentenced in 1977.  He was sentenced in 1997.]

Judge William T. Garner, who presided over Keech’s original case, was brought out of retirement and will hear arguments from Keech’s attorney and the L.A. County district attorney’s office.

-- Victoria Kim at the L.A. County Courthouse in Long Beach

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