By Patsy R. Brumfield
OXFORD – Joshua Ryan Welch pleaded guilty today to a Hamilton gun theft.
He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Without the plea, he faced up to 20 years and $500,000 if convicted.
Welch, 29, of Hamilton, was indicted on two counts, but pleaded guilty to Count One of stealing a rifle from Mitch’s Gun Shop in May. The charge is a federal one because the firearm was shipped across state lines.
In exchange for his guilty plea, the government will not charge him with anything else related to the crime and will ask the court, at sentencing, to dismiss the second charge on his indictment.
He will not be sentenced until Mills receives a report by the U.S. Probation Service to guide the decision.