Nathan Lehman had a long history of domestic assaults against his parents, yet he was ordered to live with them after he was recently released from a civil commitment for mental illness.
That requirement may have cost Robert and Debra Lehman their lives this week, as their son stabbed each of them more than 20 times with a screwdriver, according to second-degree murder charges filed Friday. The complaint, filed in Hennepin County District Court, says he went in the middle of the night to his parents’ Eden Prairie home and spent less than 30 minutes there before driving away without turning on his headlights.
Officers were called to the Lehmans’ house in the 6000 block of Woodhill Trail about 7:20 a.m. Thursday to conduct a welfare check because Robert Lehman, a bus driver, hadn’t shown up for work. His employer said that was unusual for him. Police said Nathan Lehman was identified as a person of interest connected to his parents’ address because of several 911 calls over the past 10 years.
Lehman was arrested about 11:30 a.m. in Buffalo. He was high on methamphetamine and had bloody clothes in the trunk of his vehicle, the criminal complaint said. Court documents say his parents, both in their late 50s, feared him because of past aggressive and delusional behavior.
After his arrest, Lehman made many statements, some of which were incoherent, the complaint said.
Lehman went to his parents’ house about 1:30 a.m. Thursday after using methamphetamine, the complaint said. He found his mother in the bathroom and stabbed her in the face and body more than 20 times.
Robert Lehman rushed to his wife’s aid in the bathroom, where he was stabbed more than 35 times, prosecutors say.
Lehman was charged with two felony counts of second-degree murder and is being held in the Hennepin County jail in lieu of $2 million bail. He will make his first court appearance Tuesday.
Lehman has been civilly committed as mentally ill and chemically dependent several times since 2014, and he often didn’t comply with medicine or treatment plans, a court document said. He is incapable of managing his personal affairs because of the amount of marijuana and methamphetamine he used on a daily and weekly basis, the document said.
Lehman suffered from paranoid delusions and complained that he was being followed by police and the FBI, records show. Last year, he was charged in Otter Tail County District Court for allegedly breaking windows of cars and businesses, pouring window-washer fluid into a pickup, evading police to the point that they used a stun gun to subdue him, and possessing methamphetamine, according to the criminal complaint.
He was hospitalized for psychological treatment again in February 2016 after jumping out of a moving vehicle. He told staff he would continue to take methamphetamines as his prescription because it helped him connect to God, court documents said,
Lehman was most recently discharged from the University of Minnesota Medical Center on April 14. A condition of his release was that he live at his parents’ home. However, about a week later he went missing, and on May 9, a judge ordered that he again be civilly committed in a locked psychiatric unit, records show.
At that point Lehman’s parents were in fear of him, according to court records. They told one of his caseworkers that they planned to change the combination to their garage so he could not enter their home. Before he went missing, Debra Lehman told authorities that her son had packed a bag and wasn’t returning telephone calls.