51°F
Sponsored by

Man Pleads Guilty to Murdering Ex-Girlfriend and Friend

Two area families can begin to feel some sense of closure tonight after a surprise guilty plea. The man accused of killing Stephanie Morrison and Shaun Kessler of Rome, pleaded guilty to two counts of second degree murder today. Aaron Welch of Albany, will be sentenced to a minimum of forty years in prison.
Two area families can begin to feel some sense of closure tonight after a surprise guilty plea. The man accused of killing Stephanie Morrison and Shaun Kessler of Rome, pleaded guilty to two counts of second degree murder today. Aaron Welch of Albany, will be sentenced to a minimum of forty years in prison. This means the double- murder case will never go to trial and the families of Kessler and Morrison won't have to relive the horror of that day in June. in the early hours of June fourth, 26- year-old Aaron Welch, armed with a knife, waited outside the home of his ex-girlfriend, Stephanie Morrison. When she arrived, he followed her inside and stabbed her up to 13 times, killing her.
"You caused her death by stabbing her, is that correct? 'Yes" How do you plead guilty or not guilty. 'Guilty.'"
When her friend Shawn Kessler, came to her aid, Welch stabbed and killed him as well.
"You caused his death by also stabbing him as well, is that also correct? 'Yes." how do you respond to that count, guilty or not guilty?' 'Guilty.'"
Welch then fled to a wooded area, leading police on a 5 hour man-hunt. He was taken into custody and later arraigned on murder charges. With substantial evidence of his guilt, Welch's lawyer said he wanted to avoid trial.
"He understood quite clearly that after trial and if convicted there would never be a chance of parole," said his lawyer, John Raspante.
His pleas will carry two consecutive 20-year sentences, with a possibility of parole. While it's not a guarantee of life imprisonment, the victims families are reportedly relieved.
"Well anytime someone admits to what they've done I think that satisfies the family and this was a decision I spoke with the family about and they were pleased with the outcome," said Assistant District Attorney Todd Carville. Welch's previous claim that he was hearing voices in his head was not brought up--he confirmed all details of the murders.
"He has alluded to voices, hearing voices, at no point did he indicate or suggest that the voices told him to do what was alleged on that particular day," said Raspante. The victim's families were present in court today but did not make a statement. Welch will be officially sentenced Friday, January Tenth.
Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus