First conviction vacated; placed on probation
STAR JOURNAL REPORT
A 62-year-old Tripoli man sentenced 15 months ago to three years in prison for a domestic incident involving his wife at his home nearly two years ago will be going home tonight.
Kenneth S. Welsh accepted a plea agreement in Oneida County Circuit Court in September 2016, and was sentenced to three years in prison. Welsh filed a motion, which was granted by Judge Michael H. Bloom, to withdraw that plea in November 2017. Welsh accepted a new plea agreement last week, in which he pleaded no contest to an amended charge of injury with negligent use of a dangerous weapon, a Class I felony.
Today, Bloom imposed and stayed a 3 1/2 year prison sentence for Welsh, and placed him on probation for three years.
Before sentencing, Bloom recounted the case history and why he accepted the plea agreement which was amended to a lesser felony, rather than having the defendant go to trial.
“One of the problems that the state faced going back to prior to the original plea and sentencing in this case, was the fact that subsequent to the initial arrest and prosecution of Mr. Welsh, the primary complaining witness, the victim, his wife, Ms. Butler, her story changed and a number of different versions of the event began to come out,” Bloom said.
Mary K. Butler made it clear, he added, that she did not want to see Welsh prosecuted.
For her part, Butler told the court that Welsh is a “Very good man,” and what happened was a result of alcohol, that she “made a mistake,” by calling 911 and she “didn’t have time to think.” Butler also said she is ill and has six or seven weeks to live and would like to spend them with her husband.
Welsh was first arrested April 19, 2016, following an altercation with his wife, Mary K. Butler, where she allegedly fired a gun and hit Welsh in the arm. It was believed Butler was acting in self defense.
The incident involved multiple law enforcement agencies and Oneida County’s Special Response team.