Kenneth Welch sentenced for beating girlfriend
Welch beat girlfriend on June 18, fled with son
Last Updated: 63 days ago
VISTA, Calif. - A man who beat his girlfriend near their Pauma Valley home and fled with their 5-month-old son, who was later found unharmed, was sentenced Thursday eight years in state prison.
Kenneth Wayne Welch, who has a 2001 conviction for intimidating a witness, pleaded guilty last month to felony domestic violence.
He was sentenced by Vista Superior Court Judge Aaron Katz.
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.
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