Whitefish Man Accused of Fatally Stabbing Father Pleads Not Guilty

Tanner Lehnen Hosek struggled with mental health prior to allegedly murdering his father on July 9

By Justin Franz
Tanner Hosek appears in Flathead County District Court on July 19, 2018. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The 26-year-old Whitefish man accused of fatally stabbing his father earlier this month pleaded not guilty to a charge of felony deliberate homicide in Flathead County District Court on July 19.

Tanner Lehnen Hosek appeared before Judge Dan Wilson for an arraignment, 10 days after he was arrested at his home on July 9. Hosek is scheduled to stand trial in November. If convicted he could face life in prison or the death penalty.

According to court documents and law enforcement, Flathead County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a reported altercation between two men along Wilderness Lane near Whitefish at approximately 8:30 p.m. When law enforcement arrived they found Eric Kevin Hosek, 65, dead from multiple stab wounds. Officers found and questioned the younger Hosek who, according to court documents, admitted to stabbing his father.

On July 19, Hosek was led into the courtroom for his arraignment with unkempt hair and his hands bound by a leather belt around his waist. At least four sheriff’s deputies stood guard nearby.

After entering a not guilty plea, Hosek’s attorney, Ryan Peabody, asked the judge to alter at least one condition of release should he post bail: to allow him to have contact with his mother. Deputy County Attorney Travis Ahner had no objection and Wilson approved the request.

Hosek is currently being held on $300,000 bail.

According to court records, Hosek has long struggled with a serious mental health disorder and was living under the ward of his parents. Documents from 2015 note that Hosek was prone to “episodes where his judgment is impaired to the degree that he needs monitoring and supervision for his own safety and protection.” Hosek was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia.

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