Case of youth, 13 when charged with murder, goes to jury

CLAYTON, Mo. | A jury is deliberating the fate of a southeast Missouri boy who was 13 when he was charged with killing his neighbor.

Closing arguments were Thursday in the trial of Owen Welty. Now 15, Welty is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 64-year-old Don McCollough.

Welty was hunting behind McCollough's Stoddard County farm on Nov. 14, 2006. He shot at a turkey, but told authorities it wasn't in McCollough's direction. Later, Welty says he heard a shot, then heard McCollough yell out.

Prosecutor Briney Welborn told jurors that while there is no eyewitness to the crime, circumstantial evidence ties Welty to the killing.

But defense attorney Scott Rosenblum says detectives bungled the case and focused on Welty when there was nothing indicating he killed McCollough.