The video onetime Coloradan Nathaniel Scheiern posted on his Facebook page circa May 4 comes with an all-caps warning/message: "GRAPHIC FOOTAGE. ADULTS ONLY. LESSONS WITH LIFE'S TESTS MAKES EASY A`s!
The clip appears to be an ISIS terror video — and we're not sharing it here because invective is followed by scenes of people being beheaded.
It's too soon to know if material like this has any relation to the Glendale, California murders of Scheiern's grandparents, William and Verna, for which Nathaniel was formally charged this week. But an autopsy reported cited by the Glendale News-Press reveals that William and Verna, ages 77 and 82 respectively, died of "blood loss from traumatic injuries."
Some of his difficulties were likely due to regular run-ins with law-enforcement departments in Colorado.
JustMugshots.com documents a slew of arrests. In 2006, for instance, he was taken into custody in Weld County on a charge of second-degree burglary, plus a hold for another agency.
In 2007, he was again sharing the company of Weld County deputies owing to a parole violation — and in 2008, the agency put him on the hook for alleged criminal mischief and harassment, among other things.
January 2013 marked a jurisdiction switch. That time, he was busted in Jefferson County on a third-degree assault beef — and it appears he did some time related to it.
During December of 2013, he supplemented a photo of himself with this post: "Well I jus got outta the pokey n I missed a lot of people this past year. I apologize to my family who hurt the most but time for a better year. I missed you much friends n family. One Love kiddos."
He appears to have still been in Colorado the following May, when he affixed a similar caption to the image at the top of his post: "Lifted.... 303 one love."
William and Verna gave him a place to say at some point after that — the kind of largesse for which they were well known in their area.
"She was a very generous lady," one neighbor said of Verna, noting that she'd paid for Nathaniel to get some dental work done. "She didn't deserve this."
We don't yet know what else Nathaniel was doing in California. But it's clear that something terrible happened there late last month.
The bodies of William and Verna were found on Sunday, June 28, after police were called to their home to conduct a welfare check. The door was open, and police quickly came to the conclusion that the couple might have been dead for several days.
Shortly thereafter, Nathaniel was found in a hospital; he'd been in what's described as a serious car crash on Thursday, June 25, near the California community of Santa Clarita. Authorities believe he killed his grandparents before his accident.
He was subsequently taken into custody. Meanwhile, the ISIS-like videos on his Facebook page prompted local police to coordinate with the FBI's counter-terrorism task force.
The videos, and the Facebook page, remain online at this writing. The following clip, also shared on May 4, does not contain any graphic footage.
Praise God [he] is wiser then my [enimies] his love tested by [Him] by forgiving I favor being forgiven. [Lessons] taught and applied.Posted by Nathaniel Scheiern on Monday, May 4, 2015
There's no indication thus far that the murders of William and Verna were related to terrorism. Indeed, neighbors told investigators that they heard Nathaniel arguing with his grandparents about money a short time before they vanished.
Whatever the case, Nathaniel was formally charged with capitol murder on Tuesday, July 7, with the allegation including a "special circumstances" designation that gives prosecutors the option of seeking the death penalty.
Nathaniel is due for arraignment on July 21.
Our sincere condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of William and Verna Scheiern.
Look below to see another Facebook photo of Nathaniel, followed by a CBS Los Angeles report broadcast shortly after the grisly discovery.Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.