The Delhi man accused of shooting to death his father on New Year’s Day 2013 has entered a no contest plea to manslaughter, according to the Merced County District Attorney’s Office.
Jason Reed, 36, entered the new plea Thursday in Merced County Superior Court. As part of the plea deal reached with the district attorney’s office, Reed will be sentenced to 21 years in prison for the death of his father, J.D. Reed, 67.
Reed had been facing trial for murder for the death of his father. The elder Reed was found shot to death in his Delhi home in the 9000 block of Sycamore Street on Jan. 1, 2013. Investigators claim Reed shot his father three times, with one bullet striking his heart.
Under the plea deal, Reed will have to spend at least 18 years behind bars before he is eligible for parole, according to the district attorney’s office.
Reed, who lived with his father at the Delhi residence, was missing from the home at the time the discovery was made. He was apprehended days later at a truck stop in Lodi.
During the investigation family members said Reed had been showing signs of schizophrenia-like behavior prior to the shooting.
Reed had been committed to the Napa State Hospital after two court-appointed psychologists testified he would not be able to aid in his own defense. Since then he has been found competent enough to stand trial, especially after a report from the hospital stated his behavior was more in line with methamphetamine use.
Reed’s sentencing is set for Aug. 18.