Stevens awaits extradition

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 20, 2009

VIDALIA — Local authorities are waiting for Texas to finish with Michael Kelly Stevens before he can be extradited to Concordia Parish to face murder charges.

Stevens, 41, faces second-degree murder charges in connection with the Oct. 4 death of Myrtle Street resident Mike Welch, who was discovered dead with his throat cut in his home. Stevens was reportedly living with Welch at the time.

Stevens was arrested Oct. 13 in Channelview, Texas, after Harris County, Texas, sheriff’s deputies saw the vehicle he was driving — which was Welch’s truck — in a park after closing hours. He reportedly jumped into the Houston Ship Channel and unsuccessfully tried to swim away.

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Stevens was convicted on charges of evading arrest in Harris County’s 10th Judicial Court after he pleaded guilty to them. The conviction carries a 30-day sentence.

“The judge waived (the sentence), and when the weekend came up (Stevens) was supposed to go before an extradition hearing,” Vidalia Police Chief Ronnie G. “Tapper” Hendricks said. “Now we’re just waiting on a phone call.”

When he is extradited, Stevens will be magistrated in Seventh Judicial District Court in Vidalia.

During the magistration process, the judge the case is assigned to hears the facts of the case and — if the judge feels it is appropriate — sets a bond for the defendant.