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Prosecutors: Dad Killed Ex-Wife Over Custody Of Special Needs Daughter

SANTA ANA (CBS) — Prosecutors accused a Costa Mesa man facing double murder charges of perpetrating what they call a "calculated execution" on family members.

KNX 1070's Mike Landa
reports the defendant had just lost custody of his seven-year-old daughter a child with special needs.


Prosecutors with the Orange County District Attorney's office told a judge that Robert Lehmann, 36, became so angry that he shot and killed his ex-wife Emily Ford and her father Russell.

Lehmann has been charged with two felony counts of special circumstances murder with sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a deadly weapon, multiple murders, and lying in wait.

The victims were allegedly shot repeatedly at Lehmann's Costa Mesa home even as they were lying on the ground.

"It sounded like he emptied a clip [of ammunition], went back in, reloaded, cane back out and emptied another clip," one eyewitness said.

Emily Ford was a special education aide for the Newport Mesa School District. Court documents show she said her ex-husband was unable to control his temper and she feared for her safety.

If convicted, Lehmann faces a maximum sentence of two terms of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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