Man sentenced in killing of ex-wife, her father

A Costa Mesa man who killed his ex-wife and her father in front of his home was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole Friday, officials said.

Robert Alan Lehmann, 37, shot 32-year-old Emily Ford and her 62-year-old father, Russell Ford, to death when the two went to his house to pick up the daughter Lehmann and Ford had.

A jury convicted Lehmann of two felony counts of murder in September and found five sentencing enhancements to be true.

During the trial, prosecutor Matt Murphy told jurors the Ford's deaths were the "result of a tantrum of a controlling man who wanted things exactly as he wanted them."

Emily Ford and Lehmann battled over how to best educate their 7-year-old special needs daughter.

The day the Fords were killed, Lehmann temporarily lost custody of his daughter in court. Jurors heard testimony that he got his wife and daughter out of the house to buy ice cream before the killing. Lehmann testified that he needed the house empty to have time to cool off after the unfavorable ruling. Murphy said it was part of Lehmann's plan to lie in wait for Emily Ford to arrive at his house, and submitted evidence of a text message from Lehmann to Ford writing, "I've sent them away so they don't have to see."

Lehmann said his memory of events was blurred by alcohol and prescription medication he took.

Emily Ford worked as a special-education preschool instructional aide at Paularino Elementary School and her father was a 32-year veteran of the Santa Ana Unified School District.

Lehmann was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole, plus two sentences of 25 years to life for the enhancements.

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