A Washington state father accused of trying to kill his 4-year-old son by injecting him with heroin pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge of attempted first-degree murder.
Authorities allege Eric Lehtinen, 37, drugged his young son at his Redmond home on September 24, the day his divorce from the boy’s mother was to be finalized.
Lehtinen’s estranged wife, Saradia Lehtinen, found her son unresponsive in his father’s bed with a syringe on his chest, prosecutors say. She frantically called 911.
Investigators say Eric Lehtinen may have been motivated to kill his son as retaliation for the divorce.
The toddler was treated at a hospital, and court documents say the medical staff found multiple fresh puncture wounds on his body.
“One wound was located on the left side of his neck and multiple wounds were located on his buttocks,” reads the affidavit supporting Lehtinen’s arrest.
Investigators say an initial toxicology screen of the boy’s blood showed the presence of heroin, ketamine, morphine, codeine and other drugs.
“It is unknown at this time if he has long-term effects or damage from the overdose,” reads the affidavit filed September 27.
Police searched Lehtinen’s home and found syringes containing liquid believed to be illegal drugs, a burnt spoon with residue, multiple scales and $12,620 in cash, according to the affidavit.
Another hearing in Lehtinen’s case is scheduled for November 14.