Teen convicted in rural southwest Oregon killing

ROSEBURG — An Oregon teenager who claimed he cut a man's throat to put him out of his misery has been convicted of murder.

Charley Carnes, 19, said he wanted to end 27-year-old Kevin Omann's suffering after another teenager hit Omann over the head with an ax two years ago.

Judge Joan Seitz told the courtroom this week she convicted Carnes on the theory that he served as an accomplice with Austin Clark. She noted that Carnes cleaned the knife with bleach, helped drag Omann's body down a hill and disposed of the Canyonville man's pickup.

Carnes had waived his right to a jury trial, leaving the verdict to Seitz. Clark, who was 16 at the time of the killing, is set to stand trial for murder in February.

Don and Kim Omann, the parents of the victim, clutched each other after the verdict.

"I'm just glad that justice is done," Don Omann told the News-Review newspaper of Roseburg.

In closing arguments Wednesday, Deputy District Attorney Dave Hopkins reminded the judge that Carnes had led Kim Omann on a wild goose chase for her son after she reported him missing Sept. 11, 2007.

Her search for her son led to Carnes, reported to be the last person seen with Omann.

Instead of telling her the truth, Carnes drove with her around southern Douglas County, pretending to help look for a man he knew was dead.

"He was giving her false hope," Hopkins said.

Authorities have not determined a motive for the murder.

Carnes' defense attorney, Laura Fine, argued at trial that Omann was killed by the blows to the head, not the knife. She also said Carnes had no idea Clark planned to kill Omann when the three went into the woods to drink in the rural area of Milo.

Carnes faces a minimum of 25 years in prison.

Kim Omann said her son was a mill worker who spent four years in the Air Force as an airplane mechanic. She said he loved to fish, hunt and spend time with family.

"It was a thrill to these boys to do this," she said.

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Information from: The News-Review, http:www.nrtoday.com

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