A Marion man charged in a Christmas 2016 kidnapping and robbery case had one charge dismissed and was acquitted on two others in McDowell County Superior Court.
Last week, Ray Jackson “Jackie” Welch Jr., 57, address listed as Stacy Hill Road in Marion, had one count of second-degree kidnapping dismissed and was found not guilty of robbery with a dangerous weapon and breaking and entering during a jury trial.
On Christmas Day 2016, it was reported that Jackie Welch and his son, 26-year-old Ray Jackson “Trey” Welch III, also listed at Stacy Hill Road in Marion, had gone to the Triple R Drive residence of Danny Hall with a gun and brass knuckles and robbed Hall of money and a TV. Hall’s 16-year-old daughter was also at his residence at the time of the crimes.
Tre Welch was later arrested and charged with second-degree kidnapping, robbery with a dangerous weapon and breaking and entering. Meanwhile, Jackie Welch, who lived outside McDowell County with an unknown specific address, was unable to be located, reportedly on the run from authorities. A Crimestopper alert was issued on Feb. 6, 2017 seeking information on Jackie Welch’s whereabouts. He subsequently turned himself in the same day and was charged with the same kidnapping, robbery and breaking and entering charges.
In Oct. 2017, Tre Welch pleaded guilty to a lesser degree of attempted kidnapping and received a dismissal of the robbery and breaking and entering charges per plea arrangement. He was sentenced to 17 to 30 months in prison and given pretrial credit for 62 days time served.
During the jury trial this week, Jackie Welch – who was previously indicted on all three charges – received a dismissal of the second-degree kidnapping offense at the close of State’s evidence.
In a prepared statement, Assistant District Attorney Kent Brown commented on the dismissal and verdict: “The Court dismissed the kidnapping charge because if the confinement or restraint that forms the basis of the kidnapping is the same confinement or restraint that occurs in the commission of a charged robbery, state law requires the kidnapping charges be dismissed.
“It is important to note that Mr. Welch was tried as a co-defendant for the actions of his son, who we previously convicted and sent to prison for his role in this incident. The challenge in this case was proving to the jury that Mr. Welch knew what his son intended to do, while Mr. Welch was suggesting that he had no idea the extreme actions his son ultimately took. As frequently happens in a trial, there were some differences in the witnesses’ statements and testimony. While we do not know what went into the jury’s decision, these were probably some of the factors that affected their verdict.”
Attorneys representing Jackie Welch were asked to comment, but a statement was not provided by Friday’s deadline.
Jackie Welch currently has pending charges – two counts of trafficking methamphetamine and one count each of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and continuing a criminal enterprise – stemming from a multi-county drug raid in 2017 that netted 20 suspects, 20 pounds of meth and a half-million dollars. His next appearance in McDowell Superior Court on these charges is Feb. 25.