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A Little Rock teenager who helped steal two assault rifles from a North Little Rock home has accepted a four-year prison sentence, two weeks after a Pulaski County circuit judge denied his request to be charged as a juvenile.

Brian Christopher Welch, 16, pleaded guilty to residential burglary and theft on Wednesday in exchange for the four-year term imposed by Judge Barry Sims, and that will be followed by a one-year suspended sentence. Welch turns 17 in about 2½ weeks.

Prosecutors opted to charge Welch as an adult in the case. Welch was arrested in November after he led North Little Rock police on a foot chase. Police saw him carrying two AR-15 rifles out of a just-burglarized home on West 35th Street. He fled but, police said, he left one gun behind during the pursuit. The second weapon was never found. Police said he had at least one accomplice, and possibly two.

Sims denied Welch's request to have the charges transferred to juvenile court after hearing testimony that Welch had been in the juvenile justice system since he was about 13 and had already spent almost a year in juvenile jail for aggravated robbery.

In July, Welch was released on probation for the robbery. But authorities were looking into taking him back into custody, saying he was violating his probation by skipping school, when he was arrested for the burglary.

Court records show that the robbery charge stems from Welch's arrest with two other teenagers from North Little Rock -- Davin Allen, now 19, and Keith Lamont Harris Jr, now 18 -- over accusations they robbed two men on Geyer Springs Road in southwest Little Rock in July 2016. Allen and Harris pleaded guilty to theft and were sentenced to five years of probation, while Welch, who was 14, confessed to participating in the holdup and was prosecuted in juvenile court.

Harris is currently behind bars, charged with capital murder and aggravated robbery. He is accused of orchestrating the March 15 armed robbery of a North Little Rock gas station where an airman, Shawn McKeough Jr. of Maine, was shot to death after he tackled one of the robbers. Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence.

Also charged with Harris are his brother, Keith Keshawn "K3" Harris, 17, of Little Rock; Drequan Lamont Robinson, 17, of North Little Rock; and Darrius Bernard Stewart, 17, of Little Rock.

Allen is currently a fugitive, Little Rock police say. Authorities said Allen and another man, 20-year-old Martez Nelson, are being sought as suspects in the May 16 shooting and robbery of Natheniel Williams at the Fair Oaks Apartments on West 36th Street.

Police have already arrested two other suspects, 17-year-old Avron "Chuck" Terrall Ward Britton of College Station and DaQuarius L'Quan Henderson, 19, of Little Rock.

Metro on 06/08/2019

Print Headline: Sentenced as adult, Little Rock teen gets 4 years for burglary role

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Comments

  • GeneralMac
    June 8, 2019 at 9:50 a.m.

    read paragraphs #3 and #4

    He has a history .

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    June 8, 2019 at 9:55 a.m.

    yeah. just a fact once you start rolling you gotta hit a wall to turn it all around.
    troubled Arkansas youth will soon be looking at ALOT more non incarceration options.
    this guy is going to have to take his big boy licks over here doing big boy things.

  • MaxCady
    June 9, 2019 at 12:43 a.m.

    Prison will just make him a better criminal. He's already decided on his career path.

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    June 9, 2019 at 1:36 a.m.

    Lamentations 5:13: " They took the young men to grind, and the children fell under the wood."

  • HM2
    June 9, 2019 at 4:38 p.m.

    they have a punishment in some countries overseas called caning, the person receiving the punishment is bent over a cross tie about waist high and his hands tied to his ankles. his pants are removed and he is given anywhere from 20 to 5o lashes with a split bambo cane. Maybe if we adopt this method of juvee punishment, maybe, just maybe these young thug wanna bee's would think twice before committing another crime......nah

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    June 9, 2019 at 9:38 p.m.

    Sounds good to me HM2
    What are we talking about here 5 swats per year?
    Girls will get the same treatment right?
    We need to overhaul our justice system to reflect the crimes commited acroess the board.
    In many cases that means incarceration for females and the crimes they commit to not be reduced or thrown out.
    The state makes a grand kill on demonizing/disenfranchising the american male.
    The society we live in literally elevates females for no cause other being female, just like minority status, while boys get handicapped with state/education mandated drugging, etc etc etc etc.

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    June 9, 2019 at 9:39 p.m.

    People who say "make prostituion legal"
    really really hate males.
    because males already get treated like shh by the government so females can work anywhere and do anything.
    the only reason we have government is the protection of women. its alot like the church.

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