A Bethlehem man on Friday pleaded guilty but mentally ill to brutally assaulting both of his parents and killing his mother, according to published reports.
Michael Lindgren, 52, faces up to 60 years in prison for third degree murder and aggravated assault and will serve his term in a state prison with mental health facilities, according to The Morning Call. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Northampton County Judge Michael Koury on Oct. 25.
Asked by Koury if he wants to enter a guilty plea, Lindgren responded: “No, I don't want to, but I think I'm backed in a corner here,” according to the newspaper.
According to police, Lindgren went to his parents’ home at 209 E. Wall St. at a little after midnight on Aug. 21, 2012, and severely beat them both.
His mother, Shirley Lindren, 77, a former Bethlehem Area School Board member and a founder of the Bethlehem Special Olympics, died of her injuries the next day.
His father, John Ralph Lindgren, 79, a retired Lehigh University professor, survived despite bleeding from his nose and ear and fractured eye sockets and ribs.
Police responding to a burglar alarm at the Central Historic District home found Lindgren walking out—his hands, feet and pants covered in blood. An officer who detained him heard Lindgren spontaneously mutter: “I had to kill them.”
Twenty minutes earlier, Lindgren was inside the Bethlehem Police Station under City Hall asking for help, but he became agitated and left, police said.
According to testimony provided by a clinical psychologist, Lindgren suffers from schizoaffective bipolar disorder, which gives him paranoid delusions and wild mood swings, The Express Times reported.
He had been off of his anti-psychotic and mood stabilizing medications for two weeks when he committed the attack, the newspaper reported, quoting the psychologist.