Missoula jury convicts man in 2020 Riverfront Trail murder

Zoe Buchli

A man accused of murdering 65-year-old Lee Roy Nelson in 2020 along the Riverfront Trail was convicted by a jury on Thursday.

Charles M. Covey, 44, was found guilty of one count of deliberate homicide and one count of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. Jurors went into deliberations just before 11:30 a.m. and reached their verdict at 2 p.m.

He faces a possible sentence of life imprisonment, or not less than 10 or more than 100 years in the Montana State Prison.

These are the Montana counties with the highest crime rates per 10,000 people.

Both the prosecution and defense attorneys made their closing arguments on Thursday morning in Covey’s trial. The verdict wraps up a nearly two-week-long trial in Missoula County District Court.

Missoula County District Judge Shane Vannatta set sentencing for the morning of April 17. Covey was remanded to the custody of the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office to be transported back to the jail.

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