April 4, 1995 in Nation/World

Man Admits Shooting Death Of His Brother Charges Are Plea-Bargained To Voluntary Manslaughter In Mercy Killing At Hospital

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A man who shot and killed his comatose brother pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter Monday.

Curt Doty shot his brother Daryl Doty, 31, as Daryl lay comatose in Kootenai Medical Center’s intensive care unit last November.

“Curt, in the very beginning, knew what he was going to do and he did what he believed was right,” said Glen Walker, Doty’s attorney. “He recognized that his own liberty was at stake and that did not matter in the larger scheme of things.”

Curt Doty will be sentenced on June 2.

In 1992 Daryl Doty, a father of four from Sandpoint, was injured in a logging accident near Priest Lake. He suffered brain and spinal injuries when a log slipped and struck him.

Doctors described him as being in a “persistent vegetative state.” Walker said he appeared to be in some pain.

During the last year of his life, Daryl had been moved in and out of about five rehabilitation centers, hospitals and convalescent homes. During some of his rehabilitation therapy, he was able to say single words and watch television.

But Daryl’s condition had begun to deteriorate and he was moved back to KMC, an attorney for the family said. Daryl had been on a ventilator and was unresponsive when his brother arrived for a visit on Nov. 7.

“Curt couldn’t stand to see his brother in that state any longer,” Walker said. “He felt Daryl had suffered enough and deserved better.”

Curt Doty, 26, shot his brother twice in the head, making sure the bullets would not injure anyone else, according to Coeur d’Alene Police.

Doty was charged with seconddegree murder but on Monday that charge was reduced to voluntary manslaughter in exchange for his guilty plea.

Voluntary manslaughter is an unjustified killing without malice, said Bill Douglas, Kootenai County prosecutor.

“(Curt) did what he believed he had to do for Daryl,” Walker said. “Curt has no misgivings about what he did.”

Curt Doty chose to plead guilty rather than put his family through the trauma of a trial. Walker said the family, including the victim’s widow, supports Doty.

Doty could face up to 15 years in prison.

“I think this is probably going to be one of the more difficult sentencings I’ve encountered,” said First District Judge Gary Haman.

“This is the kind of case that really involves a lot of soul searching.”

MEMO: Cut in the Spokane edition.

Cut in the Spokane edition.


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