Colorado boy arrested in murder of great-grandparents

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 01, 2011 5:57 PM
Colorado boy arrested in murder of great-grandparents

By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) - A 16-year-old boy from rural Colorado was arrested on Friday for the shotgun killings of his great-grandparents, a crime that stunned residents of the small farming and ranching community where the couple lived for decades.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that the unidentified boy was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder for the slayings of Laura Clagett, 82, and her husband Charles, 80, at their Hugo, Colorado home.

The boy made his first court appearance in Lincoln County Court on Friday to hear the possible charges he faces and to be advised of his rights, Casimir Spencer, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, told Reuters.

Spencer said prosecutors will not formally file charges until their investigation is complete.

The probe began Wednesday when the Colorado State Patrol was summoned to the scene of a rollover accident outside Hugo and found the 16-year-old trapped in an overturned pickup truck.

The boy was transported to a Denver hospital 105 miles away with moderate injuries.

When Lincoln County deputies went to the home of the truck's registered owners to inform them of the accident, they discovered the elderly couple shot dead in their bedroom.

Lincoln County Coroner Jennifer Nestor told Reuters on Friday that the pair both died from close-range shotgun blasts, and may have been dead for three days before their bodies were found.

Investigators said they had no other suspects in the slaying, and deputies took the boy into custody after he was released from the hospital on Friday.

The Clagetts were longtime fixtures in Hugo, a town of 770 on the eastern Colorado plains.

(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Greg McCune)