Bunnell’s Edmond Welch, convicted by a Flagler County jury on three felony charges at a trial last month, was sentenced to life in prison on charges of Home Invasion Robbery, Burglary with a Battery, and Battery on a person 65 or older. Circuit Judge J. David Walsh imposed the sentence Tuesday afternoon.
Prosecutors sought and won the designation of Welch as a Prison Releasee Reoffender, which made a life sentence mandatory based on the charges.
“The defendant’s criminal past and his cruel and violent crime earned him a life sentence,” State Attorney R.J. Larizza said following the sentencing. “May the victim and the victim’s family find some measure of peace knowing that the defendant will never victimize our community again.”
Assistant State Attorney Christina Opsahl of the Career Criminal Unit prosecuted the case. Welch was defended by attorney Garry Wood.
The previous story with full background on Welch’s case is below.
Edmon Welch Found Guilty of Home Invasion and Battery on 88 Year Old, Faces Life in Prison
Jan. 26–Edmon N. Welch, one of the men involved in the home invasion and assault on an 88-year-old man in his Bunnell home in June 2013, was found guilty of three felony charges at the end of a jury trial in Flagler County Circuit Court Friday.
Welch, 34, a repeat offender with nine prior felony convictions and 22 prior misdemeanor convictions, faces the possibility of life in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 24 by Circuit Court Judge J. David Walsh. (An earlier version of this story mistakenly noted that Walsh had been reassigned to Volusia County: it’s Judge Dennis Craig who was reassigned this month, not Judge Walsh. We apologize about the error.)
Prosecutors will seek to have Welch designated a “Prison Releasee Reoffender,” which if accepted by the court will make a life sentence mandatory. His previous felony convictions include two prior burglaries, a grand theft over $20,000, and a conviction for acting as an accessory after the fact to robbery. On Friday, he was found guilty of home invasion robbery, burglary with a battery, and battery on a person 65 or older.
Another man involved in the robbery, Jodie Medders of Bunnell—also a repeat offender who’d had three stints in state prison previously—was sentenced to five years in prison last August.
The day before the June 29, 2013 robbery, Bunnell police had assigned extra patrols in the area of Mercer’s home after reports that Jody Medders had been harassing him.
The morning of June 29, just before 2 a.m., an officer was dispatched to Mercer’s home on reports of a home invasion. Mercer was bleeding from both arms. Two men had come to his door, he told police, one of them becoming violent with him as he forced his way in while the other stood at the front door. Mercer said there’d been a third man outside. He took one of the men to his bedroom and gave him about $200. The man then apologized to Mercer and said the other men were making him do this. The three men then fled. Mercer identified one of the three as Medders. But the men had covered their faces.
Medders was arrested later that morning. He told cops about meeting Welch that night and, walking off, noticed Welch meet up with Julio Allen, who’d been in the woods. Medders claimed to have followed the two men because he found them suspicious—and watched them as they made entry into Mercer’s home before running off.
Welch was arrested as he was walking on U.S. 1, shortly after Medders was arrested. He was carrying a small amount of cocaine. Based on Medders’s account, Welch was arrested. Medders himself was not charged in that robbery until later, though he was arrested on a probation violation charge and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. Allen was charged with possession of methadone, a third-degree felony.
Allen was found guilty last August and placed on probation for six months as adjudication was withheld.
How were these two even out of jail to begin with????? Time to start enforcing the penalties of breaking the law, especially for habitual offenders!
People are suppose to be innocent until PROVEN guilty.My Son,never stood a chance in this county!!!
Perhaps he should stop being a low life criminal. Like anyone would even try to defend someone who commits these crimes…
Anonymous–If your son is an adult, may I suggest you do him (and this community) a great favor by not enabling and making excuses for him?
Eddie should have been at home raising his kids instead of worried about running the roads looking for drugs.
Flagler Citizen says
Why has judge Walsh been reassigned to Volusia?
And why did Medders only get 5 yrs, shouldn’t he also be a candidate for reoffender and face life?
#1 Gator Fan says
There’s more hoodlams and riff-raff in this area than I have seen in my 64 years on earth.
It is a scary day,when a person can be sentenced to life in prison,with out ONE shred of evidence ever putting them in the victim’s home,and it is all because of who he is,and the poor reputation he has!!! NO EVIDENCE!!Should of been a MIS-TRIAL ,instead of a conviction.And what is wrong with JURY members that will not see REASONABLE DOUBT when it slaps them in the face??Angry!!
Retired FF says
Glad this scum is off the streets and can no longer hurt people. Mr. Mercer is the nicest person you would want to meet and he never should have been subjected to this kind of abuse, especially at his age.
I agree mr mercer is an awesome man
I wish there was a way to prosecute enablers of drug addicts who commit violent crimes. THAT might help a little.
No evidence? Sounds like your son will be a good candidate for an appeal. He will not get life. Regardless of his conviction, appeal it and the right judge and different jury will see the faults in this case. I’m not justifying anything. Sure it’s wrong but like she said it is innocent until PROVEN guilty. At least supposed to be….flagler makes exceptions….