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Orange County

Man Gets Life in Prison for Killing His Parents

Courts: Richard Mingus beat the Mission Viejo couple to death in 2001.

October 12, 2002|MAI TRAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 35-year-old man who beat his parents to death inside their Mission Viejo home was sentenced Friday to life in prison.

Richard Mingus was arrested in La Jolla on Feb. 23, 2001, a day after Orange County sheriff's deputies found his parents dead inside their Matias Drive home. Police said Mingus had beaten them with a blunt instrument and took their car.

Members of the nearby Mount of Olives Lutheran Church alerted police after failing to see Ray Mingus, 69, and his wife, Pauline, 74, for several days. The retired couple often helped parishioners by caring for their children.

Authorities later found the Minguses' car in the parking lot of Scripps Clinic and Green Hospital in La Jolla and Mingus sleeping in a chair in the hospital's lobby.

Neighbors said the parents had asked their son to move out several years ago. Mingus had moved to San Diego for a while but moved back in with his parents not long before the slayings, several neighbors said.

Mingus was a divorced father of one whose job history ranged from cafeteria work to roofing, according to court records.

He also had trouble with the law, including robbery, extortion and grand theft convictions and a drug citation. After pleading guilty in July 1992 to holding his mother hostage and forcing his father to write him a $400 check, Mingus was sentenced to 259 days in jail.

Prosecutors had considered seeking the death penalty against Mingus in his parents' slayings. He pleaded guilty in exchange for the life sentence handed down by Judge Francisco Briseno.

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