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Thread: Lloyd Lee Welch, Jr. Sentenced to 2 Forty-Eight Year Terms for 1975 VA Slayings of Sheila Lyon and Katherine Lyon

  1. #11
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    Oct 2010
    Lyon Sisters Murders: Suspect Faces Abduction Claims From 2 Survivors

    Prosecutors say 2 women will testify a man charged in the murders of the Lyon sisters from Wheaton tried to abduct them in 1975.

    By Deb Belt
    The Bethesda Patch

    WHEATON, MD – As prosecutors release documents ahead of the April 2017 trial of a convicted sex offender charged with the 1975 kidnapping and murder of two Montgomery County sisters from a Wheaton mall, witnesses are listed who will testify that the suspect tried to abduct at least two other women that year. Sheila Lyon, 12, and Katherine Lyon, 10, were last seen walking home from the mall in March 1975. Their bodies have never been found.

    Prosecutors in Montgomery County have charged Lloyd Lee Michael Welch Jr., who is locked up in a Delaware prison, with the first-degree felony murder of the girls. A judge recently ruled that Welch can face the death penalty when his case goes to trial.

    Welch will go on trial in April 2017 in Bedford County, Virginia, for the sisters’ murders. When he does go to trial, prosecutors may ask for the death penalty, a Bedford County judge ruled on Jan. 24. The judge also decided Welch breached an immunity agreement with Maryland prosecutors by changing his story multiple times; the defense said statements Welch made to police in Maryland should not be admissible during his trial, but they will be allowed.

    Prosecutors say in documents posted by WSET-TV that if Welch is convicted, two women will testify during the sentencing phase that in 1975 they got into Welch's car near the mall. The Associated Press reports the women sensed they were in danger and had rolled down the car windows "to avoid abduction."

    Montgomery County authorities believe the Lyon sisters were taken to Taylor’s Mountain in the rural Virginia county – where members of the Welch family live and own land – and their bodies burned and hidden. In February 2015, investigators said they believed the girls were taken by the convicted sex offender and later sexually assaulted by his uncle, Richard Welch Sr., according to court documents. Investigators have searched for traces of the sisters in Bedford County. The area is the one-time home for both Welch men, authorities said.

    The elder Welch has been named a person of interest in the case, and has consistently denied any wrongdoing. He has not been charged in the Lyon case.

    Investigators have repeatedly said they suspect Lloyd Welch’s relatives of knowing about his actions or those of his uncle, Richard Allen Welch Sr. of Hyattsville. The elder Welch has not been charged in the case, and his daughter says that her father is innocent.

    Patricia Ann Welch said that several extended family members who live in the Bedford County, Virginia, area have lied to the grand jury. A conspiracy to hide the fate of the Lyon sisters was formed in 1975 when relatives at Taylor’s Mountain failed to report what happened, she said.

    “Yes, he did it, I think he did it 100 percent,” Patricia Ann Welch of Hyattsville, the daughter of Patricia and Richard, told WTOP and The Washington Post in July 2016 of the charge against her cousin. “Lloyd has done it to other people, that’s what he’s in jail for. Lloyd has molested other kids. I think he’s implicating my dad because he’s the only one left alive.”

    Patricia Ann Welch said there is no way her father abused the sisters; she would have been 8 years old at the time the Lyon girls were taken and told WTOP she saw nothing amiss in her family home.

    At least 10 detectives have spent hours talking to Lloyd Welch, along with dozens of people who are potential witnesses. His attorney said that the investigation has yielded more than 1,900 pages of transcripts from police interviews, more than 29,000 electronic files that cover wire-tap information, interview notes, audio recordings and video recordings, and an additional 1,600 PDFs that go back to 1975, reports The Washington Post.

    The prosecution acknowledged the vast amount of material that attorneys have to go through to prepare for trial, and the judge granted the request for a new trial date.

  2. #12
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    Oct 2010
    Evidence against Lloyd Welch in Lyon sisters murders detailed

    WASHINGTON — Investigators searching for evidence in the 1975 disappearance of Sheila and Katherine Lyon have recovered a tooth from the remote mountain in Virginia, where prosecutors believe the girls bodies were burned.

    Prosecutors listed hundreds of pieces of evidence they could use in their murders case against Lloyd Lee Welch, in a 13-page filing in Bedford County Circuit Court.

    Welch is charged with two counts of felony murder in the Lyon sisters case. He has allegedly told detectives he drove away from Wheaton Plaza with the girls, in March 1975, but has denied killing them.

    Prosecutors also list dental records as potential evidence, although the filing doesn’t specify whether investigators believe the tooth belongs to one of the girls.

    Also listed are dozens of letters that Welch exchanged with several women, and a letter from jail to his stepmother, Edna, in which he acknowledged doing many bad things in his life.

    Included in the potential evidence is several interviews and grand jury testimony from residents in Bedford County, who testified in 2014 that Welch made an unannounced visit to family members on Taylor’s Mountain in 1975, carrying two large blood-stained duffel bags.

    Family members and neighbors told a grand jury — 40 years after the girls disappeared — that they recalled “the smell of death” from a fire that burned several days on Taylor’s Mountain.

    Several of Welch’s conversations with detectives are listed in the filing, including a 2014 polygraph interview, the day before he was named a person of interest in the girls’ disappearance.

    Last week, Welch’s Bedford County trial was postponed until Sept. 12, at the request of the defense. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

  3. #13
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    Oct 2010
    Lyon sisters murder suspect faces new charges in attack on Va. girl

    WASHINGTON — Lloyd Lee Welch, set to go on trial in September for the 1975 murders of Katherine and Sheila Lyon, has been indicted on three additional charges related to a series of sexual assaults in 1996 of a 7-year-old-girl in Prince William County, Virginia.

    Welch was indicted on three felony counts in April: two counts of aggravated sexual battery, and one count of indecent liberties with a child by a person in custodial or supervisory relationship, according to online court records, and confirmed by Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert.

    In December 2016, Welch had been indicted on four counts related to raping on the girl in May 1996, in Woodbridge, Virginia. Welch was visiting the girl’s mother at the time of the attack.

    He could face life in prison, if convicted.

    The new indictment suggests the abuse continued, citing an offense date in June 1996.

    Each of the sexual battery charges could bring a prison sentence of up to 20 years, and an indecent liberties conviction could add another 10 years.

    The Prince William County attacks occurred more than 20 years after 12-year-old Sheila and 10-year-old Katherine Lyon were last seen at Wheaton Plaza in Maryland.

    Welch faces two first-degree murder charges in Bedford County, Virginia, where investigators believe Welch burned the Lyon sisters’ bodies. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

    The victim, who is now 27, could be called to testify in the Lyon sisters murder trial, if the judge rules “other crimes testimony” is appropriate and not prejudicial.

  4. #14
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    Lyon sisters trial: The case against Lloyd Lee Welch

    By Neal Augenstein

    WASHINGTON — Forty-two years after the mysterious disappearance of 12-year-old Sheila Lyon and her 10-year-old sister Katherine from Wheaton Plaza in Montgomery County, Maryland, the man charged with abducting, killing and burning their remains in a remote county in the mountains of Virginia goes on trial next week.

    Lloyd Lee Welch, 60, will stand trial in Bedford County on two counts of first-degree felony murder during an abduction with intent to defile, beginning Sept. 12.

    According to court filings reviewed by WTOP, prosecutors have subpoenaed a friend of the Lyon sisters — the daughters of WMAL radio broadcaster John Lyon and his wife, Mary — who saw the girls at the plaza, talking with a man thought to be Welch, shortly before they vanished.

    Other witnesses will testify about blood recovered from the basement of a home Welch lived in at the time the Lyons disappeared, as well as Welch’s unexpected appearance on Taylor’s Mountain, in remote Thaxton, Virginia, where prosecutors believe the girls’ bodies were burned.

    Welch was indicted by a multi-jurisdictional grand jury in July 2015.

    If convicted, Welch could face the death penalty.

    Judge James Updike, Jr. instituted a gag order for the prosecution and defense in the Welch case, making news coverage reliant on court documents, hearings and interviews of individuals not limited by the gag order.

    A mix of family members, detectives, forensic experts and Bedford County residents have been subpoenaed by the prosecution to testify during the trial.

    In this narrative, WTOP details what information they might share with jurors, and their role in the investigation, based on motions and other other public filings in the case, plus interviews with several of those who have been subpoenaed.

    For the privacy of potential witnesses, WTOP will avoid naming subpoenaed individuals who have not been previously identified in court hearings or filings.

    At Wheaton Plaza

    Several witnesses saw the Lyon sisters at Wheaton Plaza the day they disappeared, including a friend who told police she saw a 20-ish man leering at them and following them.

    Two days after the sisters disappeared, the girl, who WTOP has referred to as Darlene, provided information to a Montgomery County detective for a composite sketch.

    Based on Darlene’s description, the detective’s sketch showed a white male, approximately 5 feet 11 inches tall and 140 pounds, with long hair and acne scars.

    WTOP has reported the sketch was never made public in 1975, nor widely distributed through the department, in part because the detective who drew it told his supervisor he didn’t think the sketch was accurate and would generate false leads.

    Instead, a different composite sketch, based on a description of a neighbor of the Lyons, was made public by police. The sketch showed an older, well-dressed man, who had supposedly coaxed the Lyon sisters to speak into a microphone and cassette recorder.

    Soon after the sketch of “tape recorder man,” as it came to be known, was made public, Welch approached a security guard in Wheaton Plaza and said he had been there the day the Lyon sisters disappeared and described seeing them leave with man matching the description of “tape recorder man.”

    Montgomery County detectives gave Welch a lie-detector test, which he failed.

    Apparently, detectives did not review Darlene’s eyewitness description or composite sketch, because Welch was released. At the time, police believed he was trying to get the $9,000 reward being offered in connection to the Lyon case.

    Decades later, when Montgomery County detectives saw that sketch again in 2013 and noted its resemblance to Welch’s 1977 Montgomery County mug shot for a burglary near Wheaton Plaza, police sought to re-interview Welch.

    Darlene and the now-retired Montgomery County police detective who drew both composite sketches have been subpoenaed to testify.

    In Hyattsville

    Bedford County prosecutors have alleged the Lyon sisters were kidnapped, with the intention of sexually abusing them. In news conferences, former Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Krantz identified Welch’s uncle, Richard Allen Welch, of Hyattsville, as a person of interest.

    In 2015, Krantz said Lloyd Welch told detectives in a July 2014 interview that Richard Welch sexually assaulted one of the Lyon sisters, in Richard Welch’s home.

    Richard Welch has never been charged, and his daughter, Patricia Ann Welch, who has been subpoenaed, has steadfastly denied her father abused either sister, or that the Lyon sisters had ever been in her family home.

    More recently, Montgomery County police looked for evidence in a Hyattsville, Maryland, home Lloyd Lee Welch lived in, in 1975. Crime scene investigator David McGill is expected to testify about blood recovered from concrete in the basement, according to a filing from prosecutor Wes Nance

    “The defendant indicated that at least one of the Lyon sisters was killed and dismembered in this basement,” Nance wrote.

    The documents on file offer no proof that the blood recovered from the basement matched either of the Lyon girls.

    During one of at least eight interviews with detectives in a Delaware prison, where Welch was serving 29 years for 1998 convictions for child sex crimes, Lloyd Welch said his nephew Thomas Welch Jr. led the Lyon girls out of the plaza. Welch later admitted to falsely accusing his relative, “because he was angry at the relative for that person attempting to sexually assault his girlfriend.”

    Thomas Welch Jr. has been subpoenaed to testify.

    On Taylor’s Mountain

    Prosecutors believe the Lyon sisters ended up 240 miles from Wheaton Plaza, on remote Taylor’s Mountain, in Thaxton, Virginia, at a home owned by Richard Welch’s sister, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Welch Parker. Lizzie Parker died in 2006.

    Parker’s daughter, Connie Akers, told detectives in September 2014 — six months after Lloyd Lee Welch was named a person of interest in the Lyon sisters’ disappearance — that Welch had shown up unannounced on Taylor’s Mountain in spring 1975.

    Akers told detectives Welch had a duffel bag containing bloody clothing. Welch told Akers he had been carrying ground beef in the bag, “which had gone bad and caused his clothing to become bloody,” according to a court filing.

    Akers has been subpoenaed to testify.

    Her brother, Henry Parker, told detectives Welch had two green army-style duffel bags that each weighed between 60 and 70 pounds, with reddish-brown stains and the odor of decomposition.

    Parker said he assisted his cousin Lloyd in throwing the duffel bags into a fire on the Taylor Mountain property.

    Parker is not listed among people subpoenaed to testify, but that does not preclude his taking the stand.

    In 2015, subpoenaed neighbors who lived across the road from the Parker home told detectives they recalled the odor of burning flesh in 1975, during the fire that burned for several days. Another sister of Lizzie Parker has also been subpoenaed.

    It is unclear whether prosecutors have recovered physical evidence of the sisters’ remains.

    Two anthropologists, Cliff and Donna Boyd, of Radford University, examined materials recovered during several dig operations on the property, “that appeared to be bone fragments,” according to prosecutors.

    However, forensic scientist Brian Shannon, of the Virginia Department of Forensic Scientist Central Laboratory is expected to testify that all of the samples were found not to be human bone fragments, with the exception of one item gathered by the FBI, which was inconclusive.

    Other victims

    In February 2017, a prosecution filing named 10 women who were willing to testify that they were attacked or nearly kidnapped by Lloyd Lee Welch.

    The subpoenaed women’s testimony and the information detailed in the document could only be introduced during a sentencing hearing should Welch be convicted of capital murder.

    Two women told detectives they got into Welch’s vehicle near Wheaton Plaza in spring of 1975. “Sensing danger, (they) attempted to exit the vehicle, however the door handles were inoperative and (they were) forced to roll down the windows to escape and avoid abduction,” according to the filing.

    Ten years after the Lyon sisters disappeared, Welch and a girlfriend were living in a North Carolina trailer park. He allegedly started a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl who lived in the park. After getting caught, Welch allegedly beat the girl.

    Around the same time, Welch kicked his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach, sending her into premature labor.

    The defense

    Welch’s defense team of Aaron Houchens, Anthony Anderson and Melissa Friedman have never discussed publicly what defense strategy they will use in trial.

    The court has provided funding to enable the defense to hire a private investigator, as well as a mental health expert.

    In June 2017, the defense filed a motion saying if Welch is convicted of capital murder, his attorneys “will present testimony of an expert witness to support a claim that he is a person with intellectual disability.” Welch’s attorneys have never claimed he is incompetent to stand trial.

    Also in June, Welch’s attorneys filed a motion requesting a change of venue, saying it would be impossible for him to receive a fair trial in Bedford County, given the pretrial publicity. A hearing was never set to argue for change of venue, so it is unlikely the location of the trial will be contested before next week.

  5. #15
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    Update: Jury trial nixed in Lyon sisters murder case

    By Christopher Cole
    The News & Advance

    A jury trial set for next week in Bedford for the suspect in the murder case of two young sisters has been suddenly canceled, leading to speculation he likely will plead guilty in an 11th-hour deal with prosecutors.

    Lloyd Lee Welch Jr. Is accused of abducting and killing Sheila and Katherine Lyon in the 1970s. Court records show his trial scheduled to start Tuesday has been "withdrawn."

    A hearing on motions in the case has been set for the same time jury selection was to begin.
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "I found a big story of murder"
    - Charles Martel

  6. #16
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    Jan 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    The Latest: Man gets 2 48-year sentences in 1975 murders

    The Associated Press

    A 60-year old convicted sex offender has been sentenced to two 48-year prison terms in the killing of two young sisters who disappeared from a Maryland shopping mall more than 40 years ago.

    Lloyd Lee Welch Jr. pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of first-degree felony murder in the 1975 killings of 12-year-old Shelia and 10-year-old Katherine Lyons. He was sentenced during the same hearing. Welch also received a 12-year sentence in two unrelated sexual assault cases in Prince William County in Virginia.

    The Lyons sisters vanished on March 25, 1975, after walking to Wheaton Plaza, near their home in Kensington, Maryland.

    A massive search yielded few clues. It took authorities nearly four decades to focus on Welch. By then, he had accumulated a long criminal history and was serving a prison sentence in Delaware for sexually molesting a 10-year-old girl.
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    “There are some people who just do not deserve to live,”
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "I found a big story of murder"
    - Charles Martel

  7. #17
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    Oct 2010
    In court, Lyon sisters abductor hears from living victims: ‘He is the dirt I walk on every day’

    By Dan Morse
    The Washington Post

    Wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, his bald head bowed, Lloyd Welch was back in a Virginia courtroom Thursday to admit to his crimes. This time, he had to face his victims.

    “I was once a carefree, loving, trusting, confident and secure child,” a 30-year-old Delaware woman said, staring at Welch 10 feet away. “Then one day that all changed.”

    Welch molested her in 1996, days before her ninth birthday.

    The second woman, whom Welch sexually assaulted on a houseboat when she was 6, didn’t look at Welch so much as talk about him as if the 60-year-old weren’t there.

    “He is the dirt I walk on every day,” said the woman, now 28.

    A week earlier, Welch had pleaded guilty in an even older and certainly more well-known case: the long-ago abductions and murders of Katherine and Sheila Lyon, last seen at the Wheaton Plaza shopping mall north of Washington in 1975.

    In the Lyon hearing, it was the family of the sisters — their parents, both 77, and their two brothers — who were in court, sitting in the front.

    They had waited 42 years to see someone held to account for the murders of the girls, 10 and 12, who, before they disappeared, had walked to the mall to see friends, eat lunch and look at Easter decorations.

    Welch never looked at the Lyon family and did not apologize to them.

    On Thursday, to the sex assault victims who confronted him through their court statements, he spoke briefly.

    “I’d like to apologize to both these young ladies,” Welch told the Prince William County circuit judge. “I did not mean to do any harm to them. I am very sorry.”

    His plea hearing, during which Welch pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual battery, ended the pair of cases that had become important to the resolution of the Lyon sisters mystery.

    In 2013, cold-case detectives in Montgomery County looking through old Lyon sisters case files found Welch’s name on a report written in 1975. They researched what he had been up to since leaving Maryland, learned that he was in prison in Delaware and went to see him more than 10 times.

    The detectives also interviewed people who knew Welch through the years. They heard about other possible crimes, including the 1996 sexual assaults in Prince William County. The detectives spoke with the two victims and found them credible. Welch was indicted in the Prince William cases in 2016 and this year.

    The indictments played a role as Welch finally admitted guilt in the Lyon sisters killings, because his attorneys and prosecutors negotiated a global plea and 48-year sentence to close all of the outstanding cases.

    And while that sentence means Welch will almost certainly die in prison, the deal offered him an end to uncertainty.

    “Mr. Welch is relieved to have all these matters resolved and behind him,” his attorney in Prince William, John Irving, said Thursday.

    For detectives and prosecutors who have investigated Welch for four years, the guilty pleas Thursday underscored what they had long believed about Welch: He engaged in a decades-long crime wave.

    “It’s pretty clear this guy is a pedophile, and a dangerous one,” Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul B. Ebert said. “And he should never be on the streets again.”

    As a youth, Welch stopped attending school after the eighth grade, regularly used drugs, ran away from home, and was in and out of foster care, according to court records.

    In 1975, when Welch was 18, he took part in the abduction of the Lyon sisters, knowing there were others who intended to exploit them sexually. The girls were held captive, abused and murdered, according to authorities. Welch drove the remains of at least one to a rural mountain in Bedford County, Va., where he tossed them into a fire, prosecutors say.

    But no one at the time, including Welch, was charged in the case.

    He went on to commit other crimes in Maryland, Iowa, Florida, South Carolina and Delaware, according to court records and law enforcement officials. He eventually received a long prison sentence in 1998 in Delaware for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl whom he knew.

    Detectives spoke with the Delaware victim, who told them that Welch had earlier molested her in Prince William County in 1996. That was one of the cases in which Welch pleaded guilty Thursday.

    Speaking in court, the victim recalled how Welch had devastated her as a child and took away her loving and trusting nature. But in defiant tones, she looked directly at Welch and described how she rose from those depths.

    “That scared, untrusting child has become a strong, secure and successful woman,” she said, telling Welch how she had graduated from high school and college, married a “wonderful man,” had a child and recently bought her first home.

    “So if you remember anything from today,” she told Welch, “let it come from me: Checkmate, I win!”

    Detectives on the Lyon sisters case also investigated the account of a woman who was 6 years old when Welch attacked her in her sleep on the houseboat. In court Thursday, she said that the assault by Welch, whom she had known as a child, left her fearful of being alone with men. As a teenager, she said, she was terrified he might show up unexpectedly, perhaps at her job.

    “It has impacted my life . . . to this day,” she said in court.

    Under the plea agreement, Welch received a 12-year sentence in the sexual assault cases that was folded into the 48-year term handed down in the Lyon sisters case.

    Ebert, the Prince William prosecutor, said 12 years concurrent to other sentences is shorter than he typically accepts in such cases. But Ebert said the plea agreement helped secure a sentence that would in effect imprison Welch for his life.

    “With the whole package, I think justice is being served,” Ebert said.

    Before beginning the 48 years in Virginia, Welch must finish his prison sentence in Delaware.

    Depending on his behavior and accomplishments behind bars, he could be released in Delaware in about 2024, when he is 67, and then start the Virginia term.

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