Murder trial in 2014 shooting death postponed


Aug. 17—The scheduled trial on a charge of murder, concerning a retrial in a 2014 shooting death, has again been postponed.

A jury trial for Carl Allen Welch had been scheduled Monday in the 196th District Court and was one of two murder cases which had been scheduled for jury selection in the court, neither of which proceeded.

Judge Andrew Bench set Welch’s case for a review hearing on September 13.

The Hunt County district courts are attempting to catch up from more than a year when trials could not be set due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hunt County currently has 10 capital murder and murder trials pending, with four manslaughter cases and multiple armed robberies, aggravated assaults, child trafficking and more major felonies awaiting trial.

Welch has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder involving the 2014 death of Terry R. Cale of Wills Point.

Trial had also been scheduled to begin in the case on July 26.

Welch’s defense counsel had sought another continuance, a move which had been opposed by the Hunt County District Attorney’s Office.

Bench reset jury selection for Monday, setting it as the No. 2 case to be considered on that date.

Welch’s murder case has already taken many turns in the process of getting to trial.

A jury had been selected and opening arguments and the start of testimony were planned in late August 2019. But the proceedings were halted and a mistrial in the case was announced by 196th District Court Judge Andrew Bench

The defense filed a pretrial application for writ of habeas corpus in the case, seeking relief from double jeopardy. While Bench denied the motion, he did approve an appeal to the Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas, which issued its ruling in May — a decision covering 29 pages — denying the petition.

The Hunt County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers conducted the investigation into the homicide.

Cale, 54, was reported to have been shot multiple times outside of a residence on Archer Lane south of Quinlan late on the night of May 16, 2014. Then-Sheriff Randy Meeks said the shooting appeared to have been the result of a domestic disturbance earlier in the evening.

Welch was taken into custody following Cale’s death, was charged with one count of murder and was released on $75,000 bond.

Murder is a first degree felony, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of from five to 99 years to life in prison.

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