Opening statements in teen's murder trial - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Clayton, MO

Opening statements in teen's murder trial

Owen Welty Owen Welty
Don McCollough Don McCollough

By Heartland News & AP

CLAYTON, MO (KFVS) - A defense attorney for a 15-year-old southeast Missouri boy says there's no evidence he murdered a neighbor in 2006.

Defense attorney Mike Mettes and Stoddard County prosecutor Briney Welborn gave opening statements Tuesday in the case against Owen Welty.

His trial in the murder of 64-year old Don McCollough is being held in St. Louis County on a change of venue.

Welborn says the boy's story had too many inconsistencies, that he was hunting near where the body was found, and that another neighbor will testify the boy pointed a gun at him too.

Welty was 13 when he was charged with first-degree murder. The charge was amended Monday to second-degree murder. He's also charged with armed criminal action.  Opening arguments just wrapped up in the Owen Welty trial.

Welty has pleaded not guilty. If convicted he could be sentenced to life in prison, but he could also get a lesser sentence of 10 to 30 years on the second-degree murder charge.

Nine of 50 potential jurors approached the bench to raise concerns about whether they could be impartial due to the defendant's young age Monday.

Experts have said Welty suffers from mental health concerns.

CJ Cassidy is in St. Louis County where the case continues. 

Stay with Heartland News and for updates throughout the day.

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