Kenneth S. Welsh granted motion to withdraw no-contest plea
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
A 61-year-old Tripoli man, who had been serving a three-year prison sentence after pleading no contest in a case he was accused of trying to shoot his wife at their town of Lynne residence in April of last year, had his conviction vacated Wednesday in Oneida County Circuit Court and now could face standing trial on the original charges against him.
Kenneth S. Welsh, who has remained in custody since his arrest more than a year and a half ago, appeared in court Wednesday for a motion hearing to withdraw the plea, for which Welsh’s motion was granted by Judge Michael H. Bloom.
According to online court records, Welsh and attorneys who had represented him – Mary Roth Burns and Rodman Wells Streicher – all testified at the motion hearing, at which Bloom found the elements for Welsh to enter his no-contest plea were not all provided.
Welsh had pleaded no contest Sept. 20, 2016, to an amended felony charge of first-degree recklessly endangering safety and a misdemeanor count of operating a firearm while intoxicated. He had initially faced a felony count of attempted first-degree intentionally homicide, which was amended. Charges of first-degree reckless injury and battery had been dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
The original charges Welsh faced have been reopened as a result of his conviction being vacated. In addition, the $40,000 cash bond he was being held on at the time of the plea hearing has been reinstated. Welsh, who remains in custody in the Oneida County Jail, is scheduled back in court Dec. 4 for a status conference.
Welsh was accused of possessing a firearm during a physical altercation April 19, 2016, with his wife, Mary Butler, and receiving a gunshot wound to his shoulder during the altercation. Upon Butler then leaving the residence, court records allege Welsh shot the windshield of the vehicle with which she drove away.
Court records also state that Welsh, who was upset because he and his wife were about to be evicted from the house the couple lived in, had been making threats and was apprehended at his residence after Special Response Team officers responded to the scene and used beanbag rounds to subdue him.