EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. - Prosecutors have filed a first degree murder charge, with a crime of violence enhancement, against a 13-year old Gypsum boy, who they say gunned down his father with two rifle shots to the head.
The boy was arrested at his home on Valley Road Monday, but Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis told 7NEWS that it appears the father, Joseph Kelly, Jr. had been dead for six days before his body was found around 11:30 Monday morning.
A Sheriff’s deputy stopped by Kelly’s house after receiving a request for a welfare check from the victim’s employer.
“The victim’s son had called in several days in a row stating that his father was ill and would not be in to work,” said Eagle County Sheriff Joseph Hoy. “During the check, the juvenile answered the door and told deputies that his 50-year old father was deceased in the residence.”
Bettis said Kelly’s body was found near the kitchen.
“He had one contact wound to the temple,” she said, “and one to the back of the head from farther away.”
“Joe was a beloved member of our (ECO Transit) team for five years,” said a distraught Kelley Collier, Eagle County’s director of transportation. “He always had a smile on his face. He was very comforting to others, and this tragedy is a loss to our community, his family, and his colleagues. He will be greatly missed by all in the Valley.”
Kelly was scheduled to meet with deputies on Wednesday, April 30, because his son was under investigation in a graffiti case, but he never showed up.
“As far as I know,” Hoy said, “that doesn’t have anything to do with the homicide case.”
Authorities released the name of the juvenile during a news conference Tuesday afternoon. 7NEWS is withholding that name because of the boy’s age and because no decision has been made on whether to charge him as an adult.
The 13-year old took Karate lessons in Eagle County. His instructor told 7NEWS that he just learned about allegations against his student early Tuesday afternoon.
“I thought, no way,” the instructor said, “that can’t be him.”
The instructor said he knew nothing about the boy’s family situation.
The young teen attended St. Clare of Assisi Catholic School in Edwards. The Archbishop of Denver issued a news release asking the entire Archdiocese to join in prayer and support for the family and the St. Clare of Assisi Catholic School community.
If you think you may have any information about this crime, please call the Eagle County Sheriff's Office at 970-328-8500 or Eagle County Crime Stoppers at 970-328-7007, 1-800-972-TIPS, submit your tip online at www.tipsubmit.com, or text a tip from your cell phone by texting STOPCRIME plus your message to CRIMES (274637). If your tip leads to the arrest and indictment of any suspect involved, you could earn up to a $1,000 reward from the Crime Stoppers.