Pixel Tracker

Saturday, February 23 , 2019, 11:43 am | Fair 57º


Attorneys Deliver Closing Arguments in Trial of Man Who Shot His Parents in Orcutt

Prosecutor says Brian Keith Reid should be found guilty of murder; the defense attorney argues for a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter

Defense attorney Robert Ikola, left, sits next to his client, Brian Keith Reid, who is charged with fatally shooting his father and wounding his mother at Orcutt Community Park on Labor Day 2012.
Defense attorney Robert Ikola, left, sits next to his client, Brian Keith Reid, who is charged with fatally shooting his father and wounding his mother at Orcutt Community Park on Labor Day 2012. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Closing arguments are expected to wrap up Wednesday in the trial of a man who fatally shot his father and wounded his mother at an Orcutt park, with attorneys disagreeing whether jurors should find the defendant guilty of murder or a lesser charge.

Attorneys began delivering their closing arguments Tuesday morning in Santa Barbara County Superior Court, winding down the trial of Brian Keith Reid, 42, before Judge Rogelio Flores. 

Reid is charged with killing his father, William Forrest Reid, 73, and wounding his mother, Pamela Reid, then 66, during a Labor Day barbecue at Orcutt Community Park in 2012.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Kevin Duffy accused Brian Reid of conducting “vigilante justice” to execute his father, who had admitted inappropriately touching the defendant’s three daughters.

“He decided to be judge, jury, executioner of his father for acts that happened back in 2005,” Duffy said.

Duffy urged the jurors to find Reid guilty of first-degree murder and attempted murder for willful, deliberate premeditation in shooting his parents multiple times.

Defense attorney Robert Ikola told jurors that Reid admitted to shooting his parents, but argued the defendant should be found guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

“Brian was driven crazy by what happened,” Ikola said. “He was driven beyond his ability to cope.”

The defense attorney argued that intense emotion provoked Reid to act rashly in shooting his parents.

William Forrest Reid admitted the molestation allegations during a recorded interview with Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies five days before his death.

But the son never saw the video, Duffy said, adding the defendant can’t claim he acted in a heat of passion since the shooting occurred 2,513 days after he learned of the molestation allegations.

The shooting occurred as the trio gathered for a barbecue, where Brian Reid grabbed a .40-caliber Glock from his Jeep, loaded it and began shooting, telling his father, “I’m going to kill you.”

Brian Reid carefully chose an isolated park for the barbecue and retrieved the weapon after making multiple trips to the vehicle, the prosecutor said.

“It’s all very cold and calculated,” Duffy said, claiming the defendant had an intent to kill that day.

The molestation case against William Forrest Reid was moving forward, and Duffy noted the irony is he likely would have handled the prosecution. But Brian Reid’s actions in 2012 mean his father never got to face a jury for the allegations, Duffy said.

“We can’t have a lawless society where you can kill anyone who’s accused of a crime, even if they confess to a crime,” Duffy said. “You can’t kill them. It’s not open hunting season.”

In the months before the shooting, Brian Reid returned from Arizona to Santa Maria and eventually moved back into his parents’ house after losing his job and his marriage.

Duffy questioned how Brian Reid could claim such intense emotion from the molestations yet move into their house.

“What really happened is Brian lost everything that mattered to him,” Ikola said, adding his client had hit “rock bottom.”

In the days before the shooting, the defendant claimed his parents were poisoning him. When he showed up at the hospital after the shooting, nurses and other staff said they thought Brian Reid was a psychiatric patient, Ikola said.

He told the jury that a letter from one of Brian Reid’s daughter spells out how the pressure was affecting him. 

“She said, 'I think my dad is losing it,'" Ikola added. “He ended up killing his dad and shooting his mother because he was crazy.”

The defense attorney urged jurors not to even consider convicting Brian Reid of murder and attempted murder and to instead find him guilty of voluntary manslaughter and attempted voluntary manslaughter.

A conviction of the lesser charges also would prove to Reid’s three daughters that the jury finally believes they were victims of molestation and the effects on their father.

“It’s just. It’s appropriate. Nobody’s getting away with anything …” Ikola said. “He’s going to pay the price anyway. No one’s going to be a winner. But, let those girls win, let them win by accepting their version of what happened to Brian.”

Duffy is scheduled to give his rebuttal closing argument Wednesday morning before the case lands in the jury's hands. The trial began with jury selection in early April.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.