James Mellen Sr., 84, charged with murder

James Mellen Sr., 84, of Overgaard, is in the Navajo County Jail accused of murdering his 58-year-old son, James Mellen Jr., as the son slept.

OVERGAARD — A 58-year-old Overgaard man is dead, allegedly at at the hand of his 84-year-old father.

The Navajo County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the alleged murder of 58-year-old James Mellen Jr. who detectives say was shot in his sleep the night of Friday, June 28 by his father, James Mellen Sr., at their home in in the 2100 south block of Woods Drive in Overgaard.

Mellen Sr. was booked into the Navajo County Jail in Holbrook facing a single count of first degree murder. He was still in custody as of Monday, July 1.

NCSO Chief Deputy Randy Moffitt said deputies responding to the home around 10 p.m. June 28 found Mellen Jr. dead in his bed from a gunshot wound but did not indicate where on his body the man was shot.

Moffitt said it appears that an argument between the men had been ongoing most of the day and that Mellen Jr. reportedly went to bed to de-escalate the situation.

Moffitt did not know what time the son went to bed, only that at some point during the night they believe Mellen Sr. shot him with a pistol of an as yet undisclosed make and caliber.

Moffitt said that since the investigation is still in its initial phases they are keeping some information close to the vest as they investigate “every possible avenue.”

“This is an extremely tragic situation for anybody to deal with, our hearts go out to the family for healing and compassion for the loss of a family member. If you find yourself in a domestic violence situation, please get away and get help. It is not always a male-female relationship. Domestic violence knows no boundaries,” NCSO Sheriff David Clouse said in a press release about the homicide.

Moffitt said more details about the homicide will be released in the future.

Reach the reporter at mleiby@wmicentral.com

Mike Leiby covers police, courts, and the towns of Snowflake and Taylor.

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