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Neighborhood shocked after learning confessed killer lived down the street
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A neighborhood is reeling after finding out a confessed killer is living right on their street.
Police sent out an alert about Stephen Lenich Sunday, saying he'd left a halfway house in Kalamazoo without necessary schizophrenia medication, and could potentially be dangerous.
Newschannel 3 uncovered Lenich admitted to brutally attacking his grandparents with a hammer in 2000, killing his grandfather.
An insanity plea kept him out of prison and he was ordered to undergo psychiatric treatment instead.
"Really scary," said Christy Charles.
"Well it's definetly scary," said Ben Hoger.
"It's scary," said Ron Finton.
Lots of folks in shock, that a man who lives next to them is a confessed killer and was found roaming the streets of Kalamazoo Sunday night, more than 12 hours after he left a halfway house where he was being treated for schizophrenia.
Documents show Stephen Lenich admitted to bludgeoning his 80-year-old grandfather to death and to beating his grandmother unconscious at just 18-years-old.
But his criminal history was erased a decade ago after a judge accepted an insanity plea.
Newschannel 3 told Lenich's neighbor, Christy Charles about his dark past. "Very scared, didn't know these kinds of dangerous people lived three doors down."
And when Charles realized Lenich is the man who walks by her house several times a day..."Oh My Gosh!" said Charles.
Neighbor Ron Finton says Lenich confronted him before.
"Interesting, and very scary to know that. I have been stopped by two of those fellas that were in there, they stepped in front of my car," said Finton.
And Ben Hoger lives right across the street from Lenich.
He says he works with the developmentally disabled and questions the safety policies of "Beacon Residential Services."
"Where I work, to my knowledge, we don't serve anyone that has a violent past, and we have plenty of eyes and oversight and regulations and certifications we all need to get," said Hoger.
We talked to the staff at Beacon. They declined to comment and told us to call their corporate offices.
We are still waiting to hear back.
Police took Lenich to a psych hospital Sunday night.
We're told he will be evaluated in order to determine any future treatments.