Etoile suspect's call to KTRE leads to his arrest for assault

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - A day after KTRE aired a story stating the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office was looking for an Etoile man suspected of assaulting his estranged wife, the suspect turned himself in to authorities.

Jack Welch called KTRE saying he heard a story on him aired the day before, and wanted a chance to tell his side of the story. Welch said he was staying at a relative's house on Lakeview Drive. It was his father's home in the Morgan Cove subdivision.

KTRE alerted the sheriff's office of the phone call and deputies responded to the community. While exchanging information with Sheriff Thomas Kerss, Welch's father drove up. He agreed to call his son and convince him to turn himself in.

KTRE was allowed to be present during the arrest and Welch was given the opportunity to tell his side of the story.

"I understand you called channel 9 news and you're wanting to talk to them," said Kerss to Welch. " Yes sir. I didn't see it on the news, but my grandmother did and she is so upset. I was just trying to find out what was going on," said Welch.

Georgia Welch alleges her husband held her against her will and assaulted her for two days. Georgia Welch managed to contact her son to get her. When he arrived, Jack Welch fled and deputies had been looking for him since then Wednesday.

Welch said he asked his common law wife to leave after a five day visit. His dad doesn't like her around. That's when things got out of hand, according to Welch.

"She started getting all violent and breaking my glasses and my coffee pot and hit me in the mouth and hit me up side of the head," said Welch.

Georgia claims Jack broke her nose and ribs. He says she fell on some loose steps while he was trying to get away from her.

" When I got the door opened she had grabbed my friend's roofing hatchet and tried to hit me when I was trying to get out the door and there's marks on the wall where she missed me and when I got the door open she hit the door too and she reached and grabbed me by the hair and we both fell out the door," described Jack.

Welch told Kerss, while they were making arrangements for his arrest, that he did not hold his wife against her will.

"Bull corn. She could have left anytime she got ready. I tried to get her a ride out of here. I gave her the money to buy a bus ticket so she could leave," claimed Welch.

Instead, the woman called her son from San Antonio. He left his job to come get her. Authorities say Georgia told her that's when her husband fled. Jack says he left, but only out of frustration. " When he walked in I told him, 'screw this'. I told them, 'ya'll need to leave and I walked from my trailer back up to my Aunt Betty's house and I sat there until they left."

He also said he did not know about the arrest warrant and was willing to turn himself in

Kerss said because Welch was cooperative, they were allowing him to drive himself to the Nacogdoches County Jail, under their escort.

Jack may see Justin Banning, Georgia's son.Banning is in jail for probation violation. Jack is there now on assault charges. He just missed Georgia. She was released today on bond after being arrested on an old warrant at the hospital where she received treatment.

Investigators now must sort out both sides of the story.

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