Man charged with killing 9-year-old son

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A Cole County man has been charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of his 9-year-old son.

Donald D. Lueckenotte, 39, also is accused of assaulting his teenage son, who told authorities he confronted his father after waking to his brother's screams early Saturday morning at the family's home near St. Martins.

Authorities say Lueckenotte's 16-year-old son, Josh, disarmed his father before calling 911 around 4:45 a.m. to report that his younger brother, Kyle, had been shot.

According to a probable-cause statement, Josh Lueckenotte told deputies he wrestled a .270 caliber rifle away from his father -- who was pointing the gun at his older son -- and slammed the weapon against the wall several times until the rifle broke.

The older son told deputies he then took the broken rifle back to his bedroom and, fearing for his life, loaded a .22 caliber rifle that was in his room.

Donald Lueckenotte, an employee of the Cole County Public Works Department, was being held Monday at the Biggs Forensic Unit of Fulton State Hospital, where he was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation. Bond is set at $500,000.

Osage County prosecutor Amanda Grellner, who was tapped to handle the case because Cole County prosecutor Mark Richardson represented Lueckenotte in his divorce last year, said she had not yet decided if she will seek the death penalty.

"We still have to go through interviews and weigh other pieces of evidence in this case," she said.

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