Rodney B. Christopherson, a resident of Ramsey County, has been acquitted of second-degree intentional murder charges in connection with the fatal stabbing and beating of his father, Donald A. Christopherson, nearly two years ago. The incident occurred at their home in the 2400 block of NE. 39th Avenue in St. Anthony.
The motive for the killing was not specified in the complaint, but family members informed the police that Rodney Christopherson has a history of mental illness. After a bench trial, Judge DeAnne Hilgers ruled that Christopherson was not guilty by reason of mental illness, based on evidence presented by the defense.
Psychiatric evaluations conducted on Christopherson indicated that he was suffering from mental illness at the time of the attack and was unable to comprehend the wrongfulness of his actions. A court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday to determine whether Christopherson should be committed to a state hospital as someone who is mentally ill and dangerous.
According to the complaint, officers responded to a request from the family and found Rodney Christopherson lying face-down on the kitchen floor, claiming to have stabbed himself in the chest. Donald Christopherson was discovered deceased in a bed. The home contained bloodied weapons, including a metal mallet and two knives.
One of Donald Christopherson’s other sons informed the police that Rodney Christopherson has schizophrenia and had been living with their father for some time. The brother also mentioned that Rodney had previously attempted suicide on two occasions, the most recent being approximately five years ago.