Region 8 Man Faces Capital Murder Charges in Deaths of Mother & Grandmother

MARCH 17, 2004 - Posted at 7:55 a.m. CDT

DES ARC, AR - A White County man faces capital murder charges in the deaths of his mother and grandmother.

29-year-old Chester Welch is being held without bond in the Prarie County jail.  He also is charged with attempted arson for trying to burn his parents' mobile home.

Neither the sheriff nor Prosecutor Chris Raff knew of a motive for the crimes.

Beebe police say Welch broke into the home of his estranged wife in White County Monday night and was thrown out.  Officials say he then went to his parents' home, pushed his father outside and shot his mother, 56-year-old Patricia Welch, and grandmother, 84-year-old Mildred Floyd.

Welch tried to drive away from law officers, and was arrested early yesterday on Arkansas 13 near Hickory Plains.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)