State Supreme Court refuses to hear Welch appeal

Published 12:00 pm Friday, July 23, 2010

JACKSON — The Mississippi Supreme Court declined Thursday to hear an appeal from David Welch, 44, a Warren County man sentenced to life in prison in 2007 for the shooting death of Cetric Ladell Griffin.

The state Court of Appeals upheld Welch’s murder conviction in October, rejecting his claim that the April 21, 2006 shooting occurred during a struggle over the gun.

Prosecutors said Griffin, who was 24 and lived at 116 Signal Hill Drive, was killed at Welch’s trailer at 310 Massey Road, a short unpaved road off Warriors Trail. Authorities found Griffin’s body on the back steps of the residence around 9:30 a.m. Griffin had been shot once in the chest and once in the head.

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Welch’s defense attorneys, John McNeal and Chris Ganner of Jackson, claimed at his trial that Welch initially called 911 reporting he had shot and killed an intruder who accosted him in his home with a sawed-off shotgun. Later Welch said the first shot resulted from a struggle over the gun after Griffin entered his home “without permission,” and that the second and fatal shot, to Griffin’s head, was fired in self-defense.

Prosecutors, however, showed that Welch knew Griffin, that the two had “partied together” with beer and drugs all night with a third man, Bobby Miller, preceding the shooting and that Miller had witnessed Welch shooting Griffin in the head.

In addition, Welch admitted on the stand that he owned the shotgun, and that he and Griffin had disputed about money.