Tripoli man, 62, pleads no contest to threatening hospice worker - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Tripoli man, 62, pleads no contest to threatening hospice workers


RHINELANDER (WAOW) - A Tripoli man who spent time in prison for his role in a hours-long standoff with police after a domestic dispute more than two years ago pleaded no contest Friday to threatening hospice workers caring for his terminally ill wife, according to online Oneida County court records.

But Kenneth Welsh's deal with prosecutors calls for no immediate punishment, court records said.

The judge accepted a deferred entry of judgment agreement, putting further proceedings on hold unless Welsh, 62, violates it.

Welsh was charged with felony making a reckless terrorist threat in an April incident involving Comfort Care Services. Aspirus social workers said Welsh was upset care for his wife was being stopped and he said, "You all know if this appeal goes any way but favorable to Mary, I will wreak havoc on you all," the complaint said.

It led to Ascension Hospital in Rhinelander being put on lock down, the complaint said.

Welsh has been in and out of court in recent months.

He was convicted a second time in the April 19, 2016, standoff that included threats to blow up his home. He pleaded no contest to one felony - negligent use of a dangerous weapon

Earlier, Welsh had been convicted of first-degree reckless endangerment and operating a firearm while intoxicated, a misdemeanor, in an earlier plea agreement but a judge allowed Welsh to withdraw that plea to the more serious charge as some "elements" related to the decision were not all provided, court records said.

Welsh had been sentenced to three years in prison and had served time at a prison in Black River Falls.

In the second conviction, Welsh was sentenced to 18 months in prison and two years of extended supervision but a judge put it on hold - unless Welsh violates terms of his probation, which include no drinking and no taverns, court records said.

Welsh was was given credit for 723 days already spent in jail - in essence the prison time in the new sentence, court records said.

The agreement reached Friday in the terrorism case runs at the same time as the extended supervision and Welsh was given credit for 50 days spent in jail, court records said

Investigators said the 2016 standoff at Welsh's rural home started when he and his then-59-year-old wife got into an "altercation" in which she shot him in the arm in self-defense.

As the wife was fleeing in a car, Welsh shot into the vehicle's windshield but the bullet didn't penetrate the glass, the Oneida County Sheriff's Department said.

When deputies arrived, Welsh aimed a gun at them, the agency said. Bean bag rounds were used to help apprehend him after he was sitting on his porch with a gun.

Investigators found out Welsh was filing his home with propane.

Officers from seven area sheriff's departments rushed to the home following a 911 call reporting Welsh would blow up the home "if anyone shows up." The standoff lasted about four hours.

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