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Documents reveal how man found Sunday night arrived in Kalamazoo
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A man who admitted to brutally murdering his grandfather was found wandering the streets of Kalamazoo, and Newschannel 3 is digging deeper into how it happened.
State Police found Stephen Lenich on Sprinkle Road on Sunday night after a day of searching.
Officers say he'd walked away from a halfway house where he's being treated for schizophrenia, more than a decade after admitting to beating his grandfather to death with a hammer and beating his grandmother unconscious.
The Police Chief says that legally Lenich didn't do anything wrong, but there was an immediacy, because of his violent history without medication.
Lenich was ordered to a treatment facility a decade ago by a judge, instead of being sent to prison.
Documents pulled by Newschannel 3 are spelling out how Lenich ended up in Kalamazoo.
Criminal court records show that back in 2000, the then 18-year-old originally was charged with open murder and assault with intent for killing his 80-year-old grandfather and beating his grandmother unconscious at the couple's home in St. Clair Shores.
"He has a history we are certainly aware of, and because of that, you want to make sure he gets the services he needs and gets back on track," said Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley.
Two years after the charges came down, however, they were dismissed, clearing Lenich's criminal history.A judge accepted a plea of not guilty by insanity.
"Putting them in jail is not the best place for them, it's putting them in the care of a mental health provider and on prescribed medication," Chief Hadley said.
While that file closed, another one opened, as Lenich was ordered to treatment under the care of a probate court judge.
His care was in the hands of mental community health, with regular documented checks by a case worker for the last 13 years.
Along the way, Lenich was transitioned from a hospital to a halfway house in Kalamazoo.
Lenich was taken by KDPS Sunday night to a Kalamazoo psychiatric hospital.
We're told he'll have an evaluation and it will then be determined if he'll return to the halfway house where he was being treated or if he will go elsewhere for additional care.