Court case

The suspect in the 2017 death of a Battle Ground man has pled guilty to a murder charge with sentencing expected next month.

On May 17 William Peek pled guilty to second-degree murder in Clark County Superior Court in the case of the death of Cody O’Brien who was 25 at the time of the July 17, 2017 homicide. The charge carries a firearm enhancement, according to court documents, bumping up the total range for prison time to a maximum of close to 30 years.

Peek, 29, is expected to be sentenced June 24. He originally faced charges of first-degree murder and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, according to court documents.

Peek was arrested Aug. 3, 2017, in connection to O’Brien’s death. Police had discovered O’Brien’s body at the east end of Arnold Park in Vancouver, according to a probable cause affidavit for Peek’s arrest. His death was later determined to be from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Following a missing person report filed on July 18, 2017 Patsy Frice, O’Brien’s grandmother, and Darla, his mother, looked through phone records and contacted Peek, who said he had met O’Brien the day of his death, though they had an altercation after O’Brien said he wanted to rob a drug dealer, according to the affidavit. The document stated that a witness said Peek had planned prior to meeting O’Brien to kill him and steal his car — another witness told police that Peek had planned on getting revenge on people for “jumping” him, describing one such person as missing though he had seen him dead in the woods “bleeding out” from bullet wounds.

Peek had originally pled not guilty to the first-degree murder and second-degree weapon possession charges.

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