A St. Anthony man with a history of mental illness was charged Monday with murder after his father was found beaten and stabbed to death in their home.
Rodney Berg Christopherson, 47, was charged in Ramsey County District Court with second degree intentional murder.
According to the criminal complaint, St. Anthony police were called to a house in the 2400 block of 39th Street about 5:30 p.m. Saturday by a relative of the two men who had stopped to check on their welfare. The relative found his father dead in bed and his brother lying face down in a pool of blood in the kitchen.
When officers entered, they smelled the odor of a decomposing body and located an 88-year-old man lying on his side in bed deceased. Police reported that it appeared that the man’s head had been bashed in and that he had been stabbed.
The Ramsey County Medical Examiner ruled the cause of his death as homicidal violence with blunt force injuries to the head and loss of blood due to multiple sharp force injuries to the body.
In the kitchen, they found Christopherson lying face down and bleeding. He was conscious and able to tell officers that he had stabbed himself in the chest and that he had been lying on his chest for hours hoping to keep pressure on his injuries so he wouldn’t bleed to death, charges say.
Christopherson denied knowing where the knife he had used was and denied hurting his father. Police said he claimed to not know what had happened, according to the complaint.
Officers found a blood-soaked butcher knife and a pool of blood on the floor near the laundry room and an 18-inch-long metal mallet on a bathroom counter, also covered in blood. Additionally, they found a long knife-sharpening tool with blood spatter on the kitchen island near where Christopherson lay.
Christopherson’s brother told police he had stopped by the house at the request of his sister who was in daily contact with their father, and had become concerned when she could not reach him.
The brother said when he entered the house and found Christopherson in the kitchen, Christopherson said, “Don’t go in there; Dad’s dead,” charges say.
The brother told police that Christopherson has a schizophrenia diagnosis and had been living with their father for awhile. He told police he had seen Christopherson around Thanksgiving and it had appeared he was doing well. He thought his brother was taking his prescribed medications.
He added that Christopherson had attempted suicide twice in the past, the most recent attempt being five years ago, the complaint states.
Christopherson declined to speak to police and remains hospitalized.