Father Accused of Murdering Son
When they arrived on the scene, they discovered a nine year old boy dead in the kitchen.
Officials later arrested Doug Lueckenotte, a Cole County Public Works employee. He's charged with one count of murder in the first degree, one count of armed criminal action, and one count of assault in the first degree.
Lueckenotte's neighbors on Kaylor Bridge Road, just west of Jefferson City and south of St. Martins, say they want to know why their long time family friend would commit such a crime.
"Just hard to believe, I just...still hard to believe," said neighbor, Leroy Knernschield.
Knernschield lives directly across the street from Lueckenotte. He says he's known the Lueckenotte Family for more than 50 years. And in that time, he says he never would have expected something like this.
"He's just a hard worker, you know, just a fairly nice guy and I don't know, just a likeable guy," said Knernschield.
According to a probable cause statement, Lueckenotte's 16 year old son awakened to screams from his nine year old brother. When he went downstairs to help his brother, his dad pointed a rifle at him. The 16 year old later forced the rifle away from Lueckenotte and broke it. He then loaded his own rifle in his room to protect himself, and then called 911.
Cole County Sheriff, Greg White says this is the first homicide he's had to deal with as sheriff. He says it's one of the most devastating crimes he's ever handled.
"Whether it's from a sheriff's perspective or any law enforcement officer, you're sworn to protect and serve the people of a given geographic area and you hope that you never have to deal with situations and circumstances like this," said White.
Knernschield says this is devastating too, for him and Lueckenotte's extended family. He also says Lueckenotte's now deceased nine year old son never deserved this.
"Just like a young kid, you know, happy go lucky. He'd come over here some once in a while and (was) just a normal kid," said Knernschield.
Now as far as prosecution goes for Lueckenotte, the Cole County Prosecutor, Mark Richardson, will not be handling the case due to a conflict of interest with the Lueckenotte Family. Everything has been turned over to Amanda Gellner, the Osage County Prosecutor. As far as arraignment goes, no date has been set. However, Lueckenotte's bail is set at $500,000.