Man Arrested After Injecting Young Son With Heroin In Custody Dispute :: Separation and Divorce Lawyers in Charlotte, North Carolina

Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “How is the amount of child support decided in North Carolina?”

In a tragic child custody case out of Washington State, Eric Lehtinen has been arrested after police say he injected his four-year-old son with heroin and a variety of other toxic substances. Police officers say the drugging occurred on the same day that the his divorce with the boy’s mother was finalized and was intended to help delay the inevitable split.

hypodermic needle Charlotte North Carolina Divorce Family Law Alimony Child Custody Attorney Lawyer.jpgAuthorities say that the boy’s mother found her unconscious son lying in bed last week with a needle sticking out of his chest. She called 911 and, after EMTs raced her son to the hospital, a drug test was performed to find out what substances had been in the needle. Results indicated the presence of ketamine, morphine, codeine as well as heroin. Police say the Lehtinen not only injected the boy in his chest, but in his neck and his behind. Officials with Seattle Children’s Hospital say that the boy is still in the hospital recovering from the attack.

Divorce records indicate that the mother had asked the family court judge to order that her husband undergo regular drug tests as part of any custody arrangement. The issue arose because of the father’s past drug abuse and his recent claims of sobriety.

Police arrested Lehtinen and charged him with attempted murder in the first degree. His bail was set at $3 million and, if he is ultimately convicted, he could face a minimum 15-year sentence.

The case illustrates how heartbreaking child custody disputes can become in certain extraordinary cases. For those couples with children, issues of custody and visitation are routinely the most stressful part of the divorce process and can lead even good parents to sometimes act out. It’s important to try and stay calm during the ordeal and remember that no matter how much anger or hurt feelings you have towards your spouse, you need to keep the best interest of your children in mind at all times.

If you find yourself facing a complicated family matter then you need the help of experienced family law attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce.

About the Author:

ARNOLD&SMITH_243 3.jpgMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member with Arnold & Smith, PLLC where he focuses his practice on most aspects of Family law including: divorce, child custody, child support, alimony, and equitable distribution. Mr. Arnold is an experienced trial attorney who has tried jury and bench trials in both North Carolina District Court and North Carolina Superior Court.

Mr. Arnold grew up in Charlotte, graduating from Providence Senior High School and continued his education at Belmont Abbey College on a basketball scholarship. After graduating cum laude he attended law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship. In his spare time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time on the North Carolina Coast with his wife and three young children: two daughters and one son.


“Police Say Father Shot Son Up With Heroin To Stall Divorce Process,” published at

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