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Story Archives: Trial underway in brutal murder of Vidalia man
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|Trial underway in brutal murder of Vidalia man|
District Attorney Brad Burget told jurors in his opening statement Tuesday that in the fall of 2009 Michael Welch of Vidalia was murdered in his own home "for his truck and his money."
He said the man who killed Welch was 41-year-old Michael Kelly Stevens.
Burget said Stevens had the specific intent to kill Welch when he used a weapon -- a knife -- in the commission of an armed robbery. Stevens is being tried for first degree murder, which carries a sentence of life imprisonment or death. Burget said his office is not seeking the death penalty.
According to testimony, prior to the murder Stevens lived with Welch in his home at 804 Myrtle Street in Vidalia, did odd jobs and assisted Welch, who Burget said suffered "poor health" and required home health services.
Stevens is on trial this week for the murder of the 52-year-old Welch in a crime Burget said was so gruesome that Welch was almost decapitated.
Stevens "nearly took his head off with a knife," said Burget.
Burget said by the time the trial ends later this week he will have proven his case.
"There will be no doubt," said Burget.
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