Patrick J. O’Brien pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree in the February 14, 2021 death of his father, James O’Brien, Jr. (SPD photo)

A Sitka man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 2021 death of his father, and will likely spend the next 25 years in prison, if the court signs off on a proposed plea agreement with the state.

30-year-old Patrick J. O’Brien was arrested in February, 2021, after assaulting his father, 63-year old James O’Brien, Jr., in an altercation on Kasiana Island, near Sitka.

The elder O’Brien was medevaced to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with head and facial fractures. He died about a week later.

Find KCAW’s previous reporting on this case here and here.

According to court records, the younger O’Brien’s blood alcohol level at the time of his arrest was double the legal limit for driving.

Patrick O’Brien was initially charged with murder in the first degree and second degree, attempted murder in the first degree, assault in the first degree, assault in the third degree, two counts of misconduct involving a weapon, and one count of interfering with a domestic violence report.

Under an agreement with the state entered in Sitka Superior Court this past June, O’Brien will plead guilty to one count of murder in the second degree, which comes with a 60-year jail sentence, 40 of which will be suspended. O’Brien also will plead guilty to assault in the third degree, for a related domestic violence incident. The penalty for that charge is 5 years in jail, with none suspended.

O’Brien’s total jail time will be 25 years. He has agreed to remain in custody through the entire service of his sentence, and to not seek a modification of his bail – which was set at $500,000 – between now and his sentencing, which has been scheduled for January, 2024, in Sitka Superior Court, when the court will review the plea deal.

All other charges against O’Brien will be dropped under the agreement, as will charges of burglary and criminal trespass in a separate incident documented by Sitka Police at the same time as the assault against his father.

O’Brien remains in custody at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau.