Guilty plea from man who beat girlfriend, fled with 5-month-old son

VISTA – A man who beat his girlfriend near their Pauma Valley home and fled with their 5-month-old son, who was later found unharmed, pleaded guilty today to felony domestic violence.

Kenneth Wayne Welch, who has a 2001 conviction for intimidating a witness, will be sentenced to eight years in prison at a hearing Oct. 10.

Deputies investigating a June 18 domestic dispute in the 22000 block of state Route 76 found Welch’s beaten girlfriend shortly after 1:30 a.m.

The victim told deputies that Welch, 42, attacked her during an argument as they sat with their son in a parked vehicle near their home on the La Jolla Indian Reservation, sheriff’s Lt. James Bolwerk said.

At Welch’s arraignment, prosecutor Keith Watanabe told a judge that Welch pulled his girlfriend’s hair and hit her with a weighted tool used by law enforcement called a sap. Watanabe also said that after the woman got out of the car, Welch tried to run her down.

The woman managed to escape, after which Welch drove away with the child, Bolwerk said. Paramedics took the victim to a hospital to be treated for injuries to her head and face.

Authorities issued a statewide child-abduction alert in an attempt to find Welch, who was believed to be armed with a knife, and possibly suicidal, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Several hours later, a relative of Welch’s who lives in Oceanside reported that Welch dropped off the infant and left. The child, who was unharmed, was taken into protective custody.

About 10 a.m. on June 18, deputies chased and arrested Welch after spotting him driving through western Vista.


Change of plea expected from parolee accused of severly beating girlfriend

VISTA – A change of plea is expected today from a parolee accused of severely beating his girlfriend near their Pauma Valley home and fleeing with their 5-month-old son, who was later found unharmed.

Kenneth Wayne Welch, 42, is charged with assault with a deadly weapon, domestic violence and other charges. He has pleaded not guilty.

According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, deputies investigating a domestic dispute off the 22000 block of state Route 76 found the defendant’s severely beaten girlfriend shortly after 1:30 a.m. June 18.

The victim told deputies that Welch had attacked her during an argument as they sat with their son inside a parked vehicle in the area, not far from their home on the La Jolla Indian Reservation, sheriff’s Lt. James Bolwerk said.

During Welch’s arraignment, prosecutor Keith Watanabe told a judge that the defendant pulled his girlfriend’s hair and hit her with a weighted tool used by law enforcement. Watanabe also alleged that after the woman got out of the car, Welch tried to run her down.

The woman managed to escape, after which Welch drove away with the child, Bolwerk said. Paramedics took the victim to a hospital for treatment of serious injuries to her head and face.

Authorities issued a statewide child-abduction alert while trying to locate Welch, who was believed to be armed with a knife, and possibly suicidal, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Several hours later, a relative of Welch’s who lives in Oceanside called authorities to report the suspect had dropped off the infant and left. The child, who was unharmed, was taken into protective custody.

Shortly before 10 a.m. on June 18, deputies spotted Welch driving through western Vista and arrested him following a brief road and foot chase.

Leave a Reply