OREM — Police say a man was stabbed to death by his son during an argument on Father's Day.

Michael Kirsch, 31, stabbed his father, 62-year-old Christopher Kirsch, multiple times with a 10-inch carving knife inside the family's Main Street home, Orem Police Lt. Doug Edwards said.

"What an unimaginable ordeal for this family," he said. "Not only have they lost their husband and father on a day that we remember and commemorate all fathers, but they must also suffer the pain of knowing it was their own son and brother who took Dad away from them."

Dispatchers heard yelling in the background when the victim's wife called police to report the argument at 9:09 a.m. The call was disconnected, and the woman called back three minutes later and said her son was stabbing her husband.

An empty-handed Michael Kirsch walked out of his bedroom as police arrived less than a minute after the second call, Edwards said. The man was told to get on the ground and was handcuffed.

In a bedroom, police say they found Christopher Kirsch bleeding from stab wounds to his chest and back. He was rushed to Timpanogos Hospital, where he died from his wounds.

Michael Kirsch was under psychiatric care and lived with his parents in their home near 900 North and Main Street, Edwards said.

Michael Kirsch was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of murder. Prosecutors are evaluating the case for aggravating factors, including that he hurt his mother during the scuffle, said Deputy Utah County Attorney Craig Johnson.

"He cut her hand when she tried to pull him off of her husband, so ... we will look into (that) as far as an aggravating factor as to whether his actions ... knowingly created a great risk of death to his mother, or another, at the scene," Johnson said.

Michael Kirsch will be in court this morning when a judge will determine his bail amount, which Johnson believes will likely be near the $1 million mark.

"Especially where his defense is likely going to be mental incapacity, where he's going to assert, 'Hey, I can't control my actions, I don't know what to think,' if that's the case, that's the most dangerous type of person because he's unpredictable and he has a history of violence," Johnson said. "We would not be doing our jobs if we released him back into society with those factors in play."

Michael Kirsch's history includes an April 2005 conviction on a third-degree felony charge of aggravated assault with a knife, officials said. Kirsch pleaded guilty but mentally ill after going through numerous competency reviews in 4th District Court, which found him competent to proceed.

"Apparently a mental illness was detected but not enough to mitigate his knowledge of the crime against him or affect his ability to (work with) his counsel," Johnson said.

In 2005, Michael Kirsch pleaded guilty to a class A misdemeanor for assault on a police officer; he spent a year in prison in conjunction with the earlier assault conviction.

Kirsch was released from prison in March 2007. Prosecutors were unsure of his parole status Sunday evening.

"He has a history of violence, but he's not been judged incompetent," Johnson said. "He's always had some sort of plea, served jail (or prison) time, but this time it certainly got out of control."

Prosecutors and police officers searched the Kirsch home and found medication for mental illness, Johnson said. Police recovered the knife they say was used in the slaying.


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