Dad ERHAN KAYIK got custody by default. After the son's mother died in a traffic accident while the boy was still a young child, the boy lived with the paternal grandparents. He didn't move in with Dad until 2005. In the short time since 2005, Dad developed a history with Child Protective Services as a child abuser. Dad presumably killed the boy because he feared he would get in trouble with CPS for abusing the boy again, so when Dad choked the boy and saw blood, he figured he better finish the kid off. So he did, and then buried the body in the Sierra Mountains. This is the guy the defense team is trying to tell us is basically a decent man. Smells like horse manure to me.
Fri, 21 Aug 2009 13:26
MARTINEZ: FATHER SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR KILLING SON
A 43-year-old man was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison today for strangling his 16-year-old son inside their home in Martinez in 2007 and burying his body in a shallow grave in the Sierras.
Erhan Kayik, a self-employed Turkish rug salesman, choked his son, Volkan Kayik, during a confrontation at their home on Thistle Circle in Martinez around July 4, 2007. He buried the boy's body in a remote area off state Highway 89 near Lake Tahoe and reported him to police as a runaway.
At first Kayik only told his wife and mother that he had killed Volkan, but later confided in a friend, who ultimately turned him in to police. Investigators eventually convinced Kayik to lead them to his son's grave.
Jurors convicted Kayik in February of second-degree murder.
During the trial, prosecutor Colleen Gleason said that Kayik had hit Volkan in the past and Child Protective Services had told him that if he hurt the boy again he would go to jail.
In the confrontation that led to Volkan's murder, Kayik allegedly choked the boy and saw blood coming out of his mouth. He allegedly chose to kill him because "he was afraid of what would happen to him if he stopped there," Gleason said.
Kayik's attorney Rebecca Brackman, however, said Volkan, who had serious behavior problems, had provoked his father and Kayik killed the boy in a moment of desperation.
She said Kayik was a good man who had worked hard all his life to support his family in Martinez and back in Turkey.
Kayik and Volkan were originally from a small, rural town in the center of Turkey.
According to Kayik, who testified during trial, he married Volkan's mother because he had gotten her pregnant. They divorced when Volkan was 1 year old. Kayik had visitation rights, but Volkan's mother didn't let him see the child for several years.
When Volkan was somewhere between 3 and 5 years old, he ran into the street. His mother and maternal grandfather ran after him and pushed him out of the way but were both fatally struck by a vehicle in the process.
After the accident, Volkan went to live with Kayik's parents. He was 8 years old when Kayik moved to the United States.
Volkan came to live with Kayik in Martinez in November 2005 and attended College Park High School in Pleasant Hill.
Soon after he arrived in Martinez, Volkan started getting into trouble at school and began running away from home, Kayik said.
"Your honor, I filed this case. I am familiar with the broad facts of this case, but perhaps not until this morning was I struck by the greatest tragedy of all," Jewett told the judge during the sentencing hearing in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez. "Volkan Kayik was a stranger in a strange land. There is nobody here today for him except agents of the state of California. He had one person in his life, one person from the old country, one person with whom he could connect and it was that person who killed him. What a terrible moment of death that must've been. ... The most terrible thing you can imagine -- being killed by your own father."
"I think this court is well aware that this case is a tragedy from start to finish," Brackman told the judge.
She said numerous witnesses who knew and loved both Kayik and Volkan testified during trial.
Those witnesses described Kayik as "an honorable, honest, hardworking man...(who) tried very hard to help his son."
"I think that everyone who has any awareness of the intricacies of this situation struggles with it," Brackman said.
"Mr. Kayik is a very good man and has been for his entire life and he did a bad thing," Brackman said.
She said that Kayik demonstrated his remorse during trial and will continue to suffer with the loss of Volkan for the rest of his life.
"Volkan is my son," Kayik said, speaking through a Turkish interpreter. "From the day he was born until he was 16 I lived for him. I did everything for him."
He said that the confrontation that led up to his son's murder began because Volkan had run away from home. He had been gone for two months when Kayik found him and brought him home.
He said he didn't know if his son was living with drug addicts and he tried to talk to him about it.
"And all of his answers were swearing," Kayik said.
He said during trial that is was during this confrontation when Volkan wouldn't stop swearing at him that he snapped and strangled the boy.
He said today that he lied to police because his mother had told him she had already lost one son and didn't want to lose another.
"I will live with this burden for the rest of my life," Kayik said. "To kill him was not my intention at all."
Judge John Kennedy said he believed that Volkan was particularly vulnerable and that the manner in which Kayik buried his son and lied to police "shows planning and sophistication."
But, he said, he also found that the murder itself was committed at a moment of great provocation and believed that Kayik was suffering from a physical and mental condition at the time of the killing.
According to Brackman, shortly before the killing Kayik had a near-fatal heart attack that injured his brain and made it difficult for him to deal with stress.
Kennedy said he believed that "Mr. Kayik was basically a decent man who loved his son" and that "he killed his son, his only son, intentionally but in the heat of passion."