AMMON, Idaho – Two teenagers have been charged with first-degree murder following the shooting death of an eastern Idaho man, officials said.
Westley Hightower and Daniel Wood, both 18, were charged Tuesday in 7th District Court in Bonneville County.
Authorities in court documents said Hightower admitted shooting 68-year-old Larry Powell of Ammon on Monday. Powell was found at his home with a gunshot wound to his head. Hightower is the adoptive son of Powell’s wife and lived with them in the home.
Hightower turned 18 a day after the shooting, meaning he was 17 at the time of the killing, authorities said.
Hightower and Wood are being represented by attorneys with the Bonneville Count public defenders office. Hightower’s attorney didn’t return a telephone call seeking comment on Wednesday. Wood’s attorney, Neal Randall, said he did not yet have enough information about the case to comment.
Hightower initially told investigators that the shooting was an accident, then blamed Wood for the shooting, the court documents said. Wood told authorities that Hightower hated Powell, and that they also planned to kill Hightower’s mother by sabotaging her car, the documents said.
Wood is homeless, and met Hightower last week, according to the documents. Wood said he and Hightower talked about killing Powell, and two days before the shooting attempted to poison him. Court documents did not have more details of the alleged poison attempt.
Hightower was being held on $1 million bond, while Wood’s bond was set at $750,000. First-degree murder convictions in Idaho are punishable by 10 years in prison to life behind bars and prosecutors have the option of seeking the death penalty.
Hightower and Wood are next scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 13.
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