Bryce Miller

KEVIN HARVISON | Staff photo

Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris escorts 16-year-old Bryce Miller out of the Pittsburg County Courthouse after he was charged as an adult with first-degree murder Tuesday.

A juvenile charged as an adult in the shooting death of a 16-year-old claimed self-defense to investigators.

Bryce Allen Miller, 16, of McAlester, was charged as an adult with murder in the first degree — deliberate intent, for the shooting death of 16-year-old Jaylen Nelson, according to documents filed Tuesday by the District 18 District Attorney’s Office.

Miller told investigators he shot the boy after Nelson pulled a knife on him after Miller refused to set someone up for a robbery, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case.

Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris told the News-Capital that investigators found a knife “a ways from the scene” but had yet to determine if it was connected to the incident.

The firearm used in the shooting has “not yet” been located, the sheriff said.

Pittsburg County Special District Judge Mindy Beare set Miller’s bond at $1,000,000 at a Tuesday hearing.

A mailman on his route discovered the body on June 22 near the intersection of State Highway 113 and Mekko Road in rural McAlester, according to court documents.

The man told investigators that he stopped, honked, and yelled to see if the person was just passed out before he saw blood on the body’s hands and called 911, the report states.

Dispatchers told the man to check if he could wake the person and when the man nudged the body with his foot, he found that the individual was dead, according to the report.

Investigators found multiple gunshot wounds on Nelson’s body and 11 shell casings at the scene, the report states..

Nelson was identified later that day through photographs provided to investigators, the affidavit states.

Investigators learned Nelson was last seen with Miller the previous night and when investigators attempted to contact Miller by phone, he turned the phone off, according to court documents.

Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Deputy Det. Randy Hass then obtained Miller’s address and went to the address with two other deputies and an Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper, the affidavit states.

Hass wrote in his report that after reading Miller a Miranda warning, he asked that if he knew Nelson, and Miller said that he did, but “had not seen him in weeks.” Hass noted in his report that Miller displayed signs of “extreme nervousness.”

When asked if he had any guns, Miller told investigators “yes” and walked investigators to his room after telling Hass he could look at them, the affidavit states.

Hass asked Miller again if he had been with Nelson the previous night and Miller denied having any contact with him, the report states. Hass noted in the affidavit that when he told Miller that Nelson was found dead, Miller acted “mildly concerned.”

Investigators observed a phone on a table in the boy’s room and asked Nelson if it was his and if he could hand over the phone, the report states. Miller grabbed the phone and “started trying to delete messages” before Hass seized the phone for investigative purposes, the affidavit states.

According to the report, Miller admitted to investigators that he shot Nelson after he allegedly pulled a knife on him after Miller refused to set someone up for a robbery.

He said he was scared and ran after shooting him and that he couldn’t remember what he did with the gun because he blacked out, court documents state.

The boy told investigators that he used a pistol that a family member had bought for him, the affidavit states.

When asked what he was trying to erase from the phone, Miller said that “he doesn’t believe in God or cops” and that he “has a different way of looking at things,” the affidavit states.

The affidavit states Miller told Hass that some of the messages he wanted to delete had some “Columbine references.”

Hass wrote in his report that after speaking with the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs representative who worked with District 18 District Attorney Chuck Sullivan, Miller was taken into custody and transported to the Pittsburg County Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

Court documents state Miller is scheduled for a preliminary hearing conference at 1:30 p.m. June 28.

Contact Derrick James at djames@mcalesternews.com