Prosecutors Desk 11-11-12
A Chewelah man was found guilty by a jury on October 10, 2009. The Jury found Roy Welsh guilty of Theft and 3 counts of Forgery with an aggravating circumstance that he had violated a position of trust. He had been employed as a bookkeeper at a business in Chewelah. The crimes occurred as early as 1/06 and involved a check forging scheme that lasted until at least 1/29/07.
On November 18, 2009, Mr. Welsh was sentenced to 60 months in prison and ordered to pay about $43,000 in restitution. He asked the court for an appeal bond and was given a bond of $50,000. He obtained a bond and so was not required to begin to serve his sentence till the appeal was finished.
He then filed an appeal to the Court of Appeals. He obtained several extensions of deadlines so that it took about one year for the Court of Appeals to deny his appeal. He then requested that the Washington Supreme Court review the decision of the Court of Appeals.
At the Supreme Court, another case was being decided that had a similar issue, (a question regarding the legality of a jury instruction on the aggravating factor) so his case ended up being delayed until the other case was decided. This was because the decision in that other case would affect his case.
Finally, the other case was decided and after several months, the decision of the Court of Appeals was sustained and the case returned to the Court of Appeals. For a case to be truly finished, the court of Appeals must issue what is called a Mandate. It means the Court of Appeals is finished and returns the case to the trial court for the sentence.
Last week the Mandate was finally issued by Court of Appeals. Now a hearing will be scheduled to have the sentence imposed that the defendant was given three years ago. Perhaps there will be another reason for delay.
There is an advantage to delay for the defendant. First, there is a chance that one of the appeal courts might give him a new trial, and besides, the appeal delays the prison sentence. And while all this is going on, the defendant is free, not having to pay restitution or having to face the penalty for what a jury has determined he did. They say crime does not pay, but the same cannot be said for delay. Crime may not pay, but delay does.