Lead detective walks jury through downtown Missoula homicide timeline

Zoe Buchli

The lead detective in a Missoula homicide case spent hours on Wednesday walking a jury through his investigation into the 2020 death of 65-year-old Lee Roy Nelson.

Charles M. Covey, 44, is charged with deliberate homicide after he was arrested on suspicion of killing Nelson along the north bank of the Clark Fork River. His trial started this week. 

In his testimony on Wednesday, Missoula Police Detective Guy Baker explained that clothing descriptions, surveillance footage from multiple downtown Missoula businesses and tips and interviews with the public allowed him to construct a timeline that led him to arrest Covey as a suspect.

Our favorite photos of the week from November January 2 to January 8.

Baker arrived at the crime scene shortly after it was discovered on Nov. 20, 2020. 

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“There was blood spatter on the wall,” he said. “(The blood) was probably 2- to 3-feet wide and high … on the concrete, which indicated Mr. Nelson’s head was close to the ground or on the ground … and force was inflicted creating the traumatic injuries.” 

Missoula County Deputy Attorney Mac Bloom played a

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