• 66°

Stevens sentence to life for murder

VIDALIA — Pat Welch needed only one word to describe her feelings Wednesday.

Relief.

After hearing a week’s worth of testimony, viewing grisly crime scene and autopsy photos and watching a tape of convicted murderer Michael Kelly Stevens tell law enforcement officers how he murdered her brother-in-law Michael Welch, Pat Welch and the rest of her family are now feeling relief.

Stevens received a mandatory life sentence of hard labor without the possibility of probation, parole or suspension by Seventh Judicial District Judge Leo Boothe.

Stevens was found guilty of first-degree murder on Aug. 13, after 55 minutes of deliberation from the jury.

Pat Welch was in court each day Stevens was scheduled to appear and, while it was difficult, she said she did it for Mike Welch’s memory.

“He never would have hurt anyone,” Pat Welch said. “He would have done anything he could to help people.”

She has been married to Michael Welch’s brother for 56 years.

Pat Welch said the “good Samaritan” side of Michael Welch was why he even allowed Stevens to live with him.

“He was lending him a hand, helping him out,” Welch said. “It is so sad that that guy killed Michael for the little bit of money he had in his wallet and his truck.”

Stevens was convicted of killing Mike Welch with a steak knife at Michael Welch’s Vidalia home.

Welch’s body was discovered in the living room of his house on Oct. 4 when relatives became concerned after not hearing from him for several days.

The knife wound to Welch’s neck was approximately 9 inches long and two and three-quarters inches deep at its deepest point.

The wound transected both the internal carotid artery and the jugular vein according to an autopsy report presented during the trial.

“The pictures, you couldn’t even tell they were Michael,” Pat Welch said of the photos shown during the trial.

But Pat Welch is glad for her family that the worry and stress of court proceedings are over now.

“Now that he has been sentenced, and I know he’ll be on his way to Angola, I’m happy,” she said. “I’m at peace.”

News

President Felecia M. Nave launches Inaugural President Lecture Series at Natchez campus

BREAKING NEWS

Natchez hotel catches on fire

Business

Natchez officials host closed meeting concerning potential land donation to the city

News

‘Slave Dwelling Project’ stirs up conversations about history

COVID-19

Adams County officials to lift mask mandate on May 1

BREAKING NEWS

Hank Williams Jr. to play Natchez 4th of July Celebration

News

Law officials arrest 3 in connection with automobile burglaries

News

Master Gardners host spring plant sale at Co-Lin

News

Security officer enjoys building relationships with students

Business

Jobs everywhere but few workers to fill them

Business

Natchez artist opens mobile-making studio amid pandemic

News

Concordia Parish jury finds Clayton man guilty in killing of his wife, 12-year-old boy

News

International investors from India visit Natchez on economic development trip

News

Donations of items needed for 3rd Gayrage Sale

News

City approves final lease for historic train depot on Broadway Street

News

Lt. Gov. Hosemann addresses American Rescue funds in Natchez, Adams County

Business

Hosemann won’t close door to Medicaid expansion in Mississippi

News

Natchez Euro Fest moved to Sunday due to weather

News

Local resident takes photo of lightning strike behind Mississippi River bridges

News

Firefighters work house fire on Rankin Street Tuesday night

News

ACCS Drama Club to perform Aladdin Saturday

News

CPSB names candidates for Superintendent of parish schools

News

Police investigating shooting on Bishop Street

News

Thomas named STAR Student at NHS, chooses Coach Haywood as STAR Teacher