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O.C. man gets life term for killing ex-wife, her father in ambush

An Orange County man was sentenced Friday to life in state prison without the possibility of parole for killing his ex-wife and her father as they came to pick up the former couple's daughter after a custody dispute, prosecutors said.

A jury found Robert Allan Lehmann, 37, guilty of two felony counts of murder, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office.

Lehmann had been in court arguing with his ex-wife, Emily Ford, over custody of their 7-year-old daughter. On May 3, 2011, a family court judge ruled in favor of Ford.

She arranged for her father, Russell Ford, 62, to go with her to Lehmann's Costa Mesa home. They arrived about 5:30 p.m., and Emily Ford, 32, left her young baby -- who is not Lehmann's child -- in the car seat.

Lehmann, however, had sent the 7-year-old out for ice cream with his current wife and he armed himself, prosecutors said.

As they approached the front door, Lehmann opened it and began shooting, prosecutors said. Emily Ford and Russell Ford attempted to run away as Lehmann pursued them, continuing to shoot. He shot both several times in the back and they fell to the ground.

As they lay bleeding, Lehmann reloaded his firearm and shot them repeatedly in the back of the head and back, prosecutors said.

Costa Mesa police responded to the scene and arrested Lehmann.


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-- Rick Rojas in Orange County

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