UPDATE: 15-year-old acquitted in neighbor's murder

Thursday, February 12, 2009 | 6:53 p.m. CST; updated 7:53 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 12, 2009

CLAYTON — Jurors have acquitted a southeast Missouri teen who was one of the youngest people ever charged with murder in Missouri.

The jurors deliberated for about 7½ hours Thursday before finding 15-year-old Owen Welty not guilty of second-degree murder and armed criminal action.


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Welty was just 13 years old when he was accused in 2006 of killing 64-year-old Don McCollough, who was found shot to death on his farm in Stoddard County. The case was heard in St. Louis County on a change of venue.

Prosecutor Briney Welborn said during closing arguments Thursday that Welty had the telescopic rifle, the opportunity and the motive to kill his neighbor.

But defense attorney Scott Rosenblum said a rush to judgment put the boy behind bars for more than two years.


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