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A repeat felon accused of trying to run down his girlfriend with his truck last June, this morning pleaded guilty to one felony assault charge.

Kenneth Wayne Welch, 42, reportedly got into an argument with his girlfriend while they were in a truck and he grabbed her by the hair and shoved her head into the center console, a prosecutor said at Welch’s arraignment.

The violent felon then used a “weighted sap” to beat the woman about the head and face “while saying that he was going to kill her,” according to prosecutor Keith Watanabe.

The woman fled on foot, the prosecutor said. “She went down the road and the defendant began to drive the car at the victim while she had to jump out of the way, and the defendant was saying he was going to kill her.”

The alleged victim and Welch have an eight-month-old son together, according to Watanabe.

San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies pursued Welch in a high-speed chase and he “was driving recklessly until his car finally crashed,” the prosecutor alleged. Welch was charged with assault, use of deadly weapon (car), criminal threat, felony child endangerment, and felony evade officers with reckless driving.

Welch reportedly has “strike” convictions dating to 1997 and 2001, and presumably faced 25-years-to-life in prison if convicted of a new violent felony. His criminal record seems to indicate robbery and assault and felony intimidation of witness.

Prosecutor Watanabe told a judge: “The defendant has told (the victim) in the past, that he has two strikes on his record, and so he doesn’t care what happens to him if he goes down for something again.”

Today Welch admitted inflicting “corporal injury upon the mother of his child, with whom he had been cohabitating, which resulted in a traumatic condition.” Welch admitted one strike prior in the plea deal and expects to be sentenced to 8 years in prison at his next appearance in San Diego’s North County courthouse, October 10, 2013.

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Visduh Sept. 14, 2013 @ 4:45 p.m.

The "three strikes" law was intended to put jerks like him away for good. But now because of "prison overcrowding", weak kneed judges, and the always-present plea bargains, that law goes unenforced in many cases. This is one of those. Even if he serves the entire sentence (and there's no certainty of that) he'll only be 50 years old when he gets out. Want him in your neighborhood? Want him living next door? By that time he'll be even more hardened than he is now, and from his looks, I'd say he's a real hard case already. Sleep tight, San Diego.


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