THE father of a man accused of murdering a wheelchair-bound elderly man says his son should receive the death penalty for the crime.
Charles Covey, 44, is facing charges of deliberate homicide following the death of Roy Lee Nelson, 65, whose body was found last week on a trail in Missoula, Montana.
According to court records cited by the the Missoulian newspaper, police allege Covey – otherwise known by alias Jesse Nitcy – pushed Nelson out of his wheelchair.
The documents detail how witnesses heard “a hollow metal pipe being violently struck against something” a number of times.
Another witness reported finding Nelson’s body and "seeing a massive head wound with pieces of brain and blood" spattered on a concrete wall.
Covey’s father, Michael Covey, 62, told the Missoulian that his son should be executed, saying: “I’m 100 percent for it (the death penalty) right now.
“Tomorrow… I might have a different heart.”
“I don’t want this monster pampered. What he did is unforgivable. I definitely wanna do my part to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” he added.
If the death penalty is not possible, Covey's father said his son should be imprisoned for as long as possible.
Charles Covey could be sentenced up to life in prison if he is convicted, but it is not clear whether the state could execute him, legal experts told the newspaper.
In an email to the Missoulian, Deputy County Attorney Brian Lowney wrote: “Based on the statutory scheme Montana currently has in place regarding the death penalty, it is unlikely that it is constitutional to seek the death penalty in Montana at this point.
“Case law from the United States Supreme Court in Hurst v. Florida, 577 US 92 (2016) holds that a jury must decide whether the death penalty is applicable for that sentence to be constitutionally imposed, which the statutory scheme in Montana does not currently provide for."
Charles Covey previously spent 17 years in prison for what his father described as beating “some people half to death” and hijacking a vehicle, the newspaper reports.
In court this week, Lowney said Charles Covey had “an extremely violent history,” the Missoulian reported.
Charles Covey is scheduled to return to court on December 7.
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