Michael Kirsch

PROVO — A man with a history of mental illness accused of fatally stabbing his father after an argument Father's Day morning is being held in the Utah County Jail on $1 million cash-only bail.

In a Monday morning bail hearing in 4th District Court via video screen from the jail, Michael Kirsch, 31, stood handcuffed with his hands behind his back, flanked by two jail officers and surrounded by several more.

Kirsch was arrested Sunday morning after police responded to two 911 calls from the Orem home.

Inside, officers found 62-year-old Christopher Kirsch bleeding from 26 stab wounds in his back, shoulder, stomach, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in 4th District Court.

Christopher Kirsch, a history professor at Utah Valley State College, was rushed to Timpanogos Hospital where he died minutes later.

Kirsch was booked into jail for investigation of aggravated murder and aggravated assault, because his mother, Elaine, was also injured in the scuffle, when she tried to pull her son off her husband, prosecutors said.

"We request $1 million cash-only," prosecutor Jason Sant told Judge Lynn Davis. "(He's) alleged to have killed his father, could have killed his mother and has been to prison."

Kirsch was still on parole when this alleged crime occurred, having been released in March 2007.

In April 2005, Kirsch was charged with an aggravated assault with a knife, and after numerous competency reviews and a stay in the state hospital was restored to competency, then pleaded guilty and mentally ill and was sent to prison, according to court records.

Orem Police Lt. Doug Edwards said the Kirsch family had recently taken their son back into their home near 900 North and Main, worried that he wasn't getting the appropriate care for his psychiatric problems on his own.

Despite concerns about his violent tendencies, the parents felt it was the right thing to do, Edwards said.

"All indications are that (Christopher Kirsch) was a fine man who loved his wife and family," Edwards said.

E-mail: [email protected]