Charges: Man with mental health issues ran over neighbor in Brooklyn Park

The man charged with murder was civilly committed in 2019.
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Paul Pfeifer

Paul Pfeifer

A man with a history of mental health issues has been charged with murder after charges say he admitted that he ran over his neighbor in Brooklyn Park. 

On June 12, Paul Pfeifer, 67, was walking to get his mail at the end of his driveway on Scott Circle North when he was fatally struck by a black SUV authorities allege was driven by Christopher D. Rice. 

Rice was formally charged Wednesday in Hennepin County District Court with one count each of second-degree intentional murder, second-degree unintentional murder, and criminal vehicular homicide. 

According to the criminal complaint, Rice, the live-in boyfriend of Pfeifer's neighbor, admitted to running over Pfeifer before driving a few blocks away, getting out of the vehicle and walking home. Police located Rice inside his partner's house, where he was "mumbling to himself and incoherent," the criminal complaint states. 

The charging document said Rice "hears things and sees lights" and that he thinks he is "controlled by a man and the man controlled him to hit the victim with his vehicle." The complaint adds:

"Defendant stated that the voices in his head told him that the person by the mailbox had done something bad to Defendant's mother. He stated that the voices told him to hit the victim with his car, which he did."

During a post-arrest interview with police, Rice indicated he suffers from Schizophrenia and Bi-polar disease. Authorities learned that he was found incompetent to stand trial for a pending aggravated robbery charge due to him being civilly committed in 2019, in addition to being diagnosed with "schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type, with catatonia."

Rice informed investigators that he hadn't taken his medication in "over a month." 

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