A teenager in Eagle County, Colorado, was arrested Monday for allegedly murdering his father. Joseph Kelly Jr., the father in question, was found dead in his home by officers of the Eagle County Sheriff’s department. The apparent cause of death has been identified by authorities as two gunshot wounds to the head, one of them from close range to the temple. Both of these wounds were inflicted by a .22 calibre rifle, which was possibly among the weapons found in the residence.
The teenager was arrested in his Gypsum home on Monday, May 5, but coroner Kara Bettis believes that his father had already been dead for approximately six days at the time of the arrest. This discrepancy can be explained by the fact that the teenager attempted to hide the murder by calling his father’s employer and pretending that his father would be staying home sick. This falsehood worked for a number of days, but eventually Mr.Kelly’s employer became suspicious and called the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, prompting the visit to the Gypsum home on Monday afternoon. The Colorado teenager charged with murdering his father, when faced with a police presence at his door, simply told the authorities that his 50-year-old father was dead in the home, prompting the teenager’s arrest.
The teenager was initially incarcerated in the Eagle County Detentions Facility, but it is expected that he will soon be transferred to the Mount View Youth Detentions Facility. Furthermore, the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office filed a petition on Tuesday, May 6, charging the teenager with “first-degree murder, criminal mischief, and a crime of violence,” possibly as a precursor to a possible sentence enhancement. This decision by authorities may be attributable to the brutal nature of the murder, as well as to the degree of planning and forethought that went into the teenager’s attempt to cover up said murder.
The boy, who was a student at the St.Clare of Assisi Catholic School, has been formally charged by police, but the public is still stunned by the brutality of the crime, especially as it was perpetrated by a mere 13-year-old. As such, a search will no doubt be undertaken in order to find the underlying causes of this act, and it is in fact known that the teenager in question was already known to police at the time of the murder.
The Colorado teenager was under police investigation at the time of the alleged murder, an investigation which was being conducted in regards to the teenager’s alleged activities as a graffiti artist. In fact, there was a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, April 30, which Mr.Kelly was supposed to attend in order to discuss the investigation with representatives of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. The fact that Mr.Kelly did not attend this meeting, as stated by spokeswoman Jessie Mosher, lends further credence to the idea that the murder of Joseph Kelly Jr. took place well before the arrest of his son on Monday, May 5. This idea is also supported by the professional opinion of coroner Kara Bettis, and by the testimony of Mr.Kelly’s employer. While this instance of past criminal activity, in the form of graffiti, by no means explains the murder of Joseph Kelly Jr., it is one of the many pieces of information that must be examined in order to understand what prompted a thirteen-year-old Colorado teenager to murder his father.
By: Nicholas Grabe