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Son pleads not guilty in father's death at Rancho Santa Fe mansion

Posted at 4:12 PM, Jun 02, 2017

VISTA, Calif. (KGTV)--A man pleaded not guilty Friday to the murder and torture of his father in Rancho Santa Fe, a case which prosecutors said could lead to the death penalty if he is convicted.

Leighton Dorey III, 71, was beaten and choked Tuesday at his home on La Brisa. His wife found his body in a back room. Deputy District Attorney Paul Greenwood said Dorey III suffered facial, spinal and neck fractures in "a savage attack."

On Wednesday, members of the San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested the victim's son, 39-year-old Leighton Dorey IV, near the town of Idyllwild in Riverside County.

RELATED: Rancho Santa Fe death investigation follows discovery of dead husband 

Dorey IV had been living in Europe for the past four years. He and his father had a contentious relationship, according to Greenwood.  

A judge ordered Dorey IV to be held without bail, pending a June 15 preliminary hearing.