NewsCrime and Courts


Charles Covey sentenced for killing a man in Missoula

Lee Roy Nelson was found dead on November 20, 2020
Charles Covey booking photo
Posted at 4:03 PM, Oct 30, 2023

MISSOULA — Charles Covey was sentenced in Missoula District Court on Friday, October 27, 2023, for the murder of Lee Roy Nelson.

Nelson was found dead on November 20, 2020, near the Riverfront Trail in downtown Missoula by a nurse during her lunchtime walk.

Surveillance video captured - and witnesses reported seeing - Covey pushing Nelson, who used a wheelchair, in the same area of the homicide.

Witnesses said that Nelson was yelling “stop” before he eventually came out of the wheelchair.

The witness saw the man crouched over and described hearing a hollow metallic sound.

Authorities say Nelson’s death was caused by blunt and sharp force trauma to his head.

Covey was captured on surveillance leaving the nearby area after Nelson was killed and then discarding his clothing behind a trash can. The murder weapon was never recovered.

“While nothing can bring Mr. Nelson back, today Mr. Nelson and the Missoula community received justice with this sentence,” said Deputy County Attorney Caitlin Creighton.

Covey was sentenced to life without parole in the Montana State Prison for the homicide, with an additional 10 years for tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, which will be served concurrently with the homicide charge.