After an unresponsive nine-month-old baby was airlifted to Riley Hospital last August, a doctor told a state police detective the baby’s skull resembled “a cracked egg shell.” The baby’s father is now headed to prison since Greene Superior Judge Dena Martin handed down a sentence of 18 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections.
The baby’s father, Tosumba Welch, Jr., age 20 at the time of his arrest, was taken into custody and booked in to the Greene County Jail on four serious felony counts. He did not post bond and has remained in jail while awaiting the conclusion of his case.
Welch was charged with three counts of domestic battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person under the age of 14, all Level 3 felonies, and one count of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, also a Level 3 felony.
This case was investigated by Detective Stacy Brown of the Indiana State Police.
A trial date was set, but in late March a negotiated plea agreement, signed by Welch, his attorney and the prosecuting attorney, was submitted to the court. A pre-sentence investigation report was completed in preparation for a change of plea and sentencing hearing which was first scheduled to take place in May. It was continued about three times before the hearing was conducted and Welch was sentenced last Thursday, August 2.
Under the terms of the agreement, Welch agreed to plead guilty to two of the counts of domestic battery, both Level 3 felonies. The agreement left it up to the judge whether the sentences on those two counts should be served concurrently/at the same time or consecutively/one after the other. The lengths of the sentences were also left up to the judge’s discretion, however, the agreement specified the maximum sentence should not exceed a total of 20 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections with the executed portion not to exceed 18 years.
During the sentencing hearing, after evidence and arguments were heard regarding the length of the sentences and whether they should be served at the same time or one after the other, when the sentence was pronounced, the judge gave him the maximum allowed under the terms of the agreement.
Judge Martin sentenced Welch to 10 years on each of the counts and specified the sentences will be served consecutively, or one after the other, for a total of 20 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections, with two years suspended. In keeping with the agreement, this equates to 18 years of executed time. Welch was given credit for 337 days already served.
If Welch receives good-time credit, since these convictions are Level 3 felonies, he will still have to serve at least 75 percent of the total time which would be a minimum of 13.5 years behind bars before he could be released.
Under the law, Welch cannot appeal his conviction, but he does have the right to appeal his sentence.