Dad of Montana Man Accused of Murder Says His Son Deserves the Death Penalty

Missoula Police Department
Missoula Police Department

The father of a man charged with deliberate homicide in Montana wants his son to be sentenced to death, according to a report. Michael Covey, 62, is the father of Charles Covey, 44, who has been charged in the death of 65-year-old Roy Lee Nelson.

While the senior Covey said he hadn’t supported the death penalty before, he told the Missoulian that he thinks his son should be sentenced to death or spend the rest of his life in a cell.

“I’m 100% for it (the death penalty) right now," Michael Covey told the paper. "Tomorrow…I might have a different heart.” 

He also referred to his son as “monster” and said he shouldn’t be pampered, calling what he did “unforgivable."

According to a court affidavit obtained by the Missoulian, a witness told police he saw Charles Covey pushing a man in a wheelchair against his will in Missoula. The witness told police he then heard a “hollow sound like a metal pipe hitting something four to five times.” Another witness told police he found Nelson’s body with a large wound on the side of his head.

Charles Covey has been charged with deliberate homicide in connection with Nelson's death. He is being held on $1 million bond. If convicted, he faces at least 10 years in prison. Legal experts told the paper that it’s not likely Charles Covey will receive the death penalty in the state.

Deputy County Attorney Brian Lowney told the paper that "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.”

Michael Covey said he will try to attend his son’s trial in support of the Nelson family.

"I’m saddened by what happened and my heart goes out to them, period. Nobody should ever have to go through this,” Michael Covey said.

He added that his son should not be released.

"They either need to keep him handcuffed and chained to his bed, or they need to put him to death," he said. "It breaks my heart to say that.”

Charles Covey has pleaded not guilty. 

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