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Murder suspect still waiting for mental-health evaluation

January 25, 2019

A Whitefish man who is accused of killing his father in a dispute more than six months ago is still waiting for a mental-health evaluation.

Tanner Lehnen Hosek, 26, remains in the Flathead County Jail where he has been since July 9, 2018, when law enforcement officials said he allegedly admitted to stabbing his father, Eric Hosek, to death with a knife.

Hosek and his attorney, Ryan Peabody, appeared in front of Flathead County District Judge Robert Allison Thursday morning for a status hearing.

“He still hasn’t had his hearing on his fitness to proceed in this case,” Peabody said.

“It’s been in stall mode for months,” Allison replied.

“He’s been moving up the list [for evaluation], but not quickly,” Peabody said. “Mr. Hosek would like to speed this up and for him to be in a hospital would be good.”

Peabody made a motion for an evaluation of Hosek August 24, 2018.

The judge scheduled another status hearing for Hosek at 9 a.m. Thursday, April 18. His case is not scheduled for trial because of the uncertainty of when he may be evaluated at the Montana State Hospital. Deputy County Attorney Allison Howard said the state Department of Health could approve another person to do the evaluation, but Hosek wouldn’t even be the first person on the list in Flathead County, according to Howard.

In the affidavit of probable cause filed by Flathead County Attorney Travis Ahner, when officers from the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence outside Whitefish on Wilderness Lane, they found Eric Hosek, 65, dead.

Tanner Hosek allegedly told officers he had used a knife to stab and kill his father.

Court documents indicate Tanner has schizophrenia and his parents, Eric and Linda Hosek, were appointed his co-guardians in August 2015 to help care for him.

Tanner was a 2010 Whitefish High School graduate who played soccer at the varsity level.

Court documents indicate that in November 2012 he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession.

Another court document noted Tanner had attended the University of Montana in 2010, when he first reported his mental-health concerns. At one point he was hospitalized at the Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs.

A July 2015 letter from a social worker who was a part of Tanner’s guardian hearing read, “Tanner remains stable at this time, but if he decides to go off his medications, per history, he is not capable of making rational decisions on his behalf. Eric and Linda Hosek are the most appropriate people to take on this guardianship and will do what it takes to keep Tanner safe.”

Eric Hosek was a senior financial consultant with D.A. Davidson & Co., in Whitefish and had been with the company since 2001.

According to a previous Daily Inter Lake story, Hosek and his wife moved to Whitefish in 1981. Eric served on the Whitefish School Board and worked with the Whitefish Education Foundation. In addition, he served as a coach and was active in youth hockey. He also taught for more than 10 years in an outdoor education field.

Reporter Scott Shindledecker may be reached at 406-758-4441 or sshindledecker@dailyinterlake.com

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