McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

December 19, 2011

Death row inmate returns to OSP from MRHC

By Rachel Petersen
Staff Writer

McALESTER — Death row inmate Gary Roland Welch, 49, returned to the Oklahoma State Penitentiary Sunday after being released from the McAlester Regional Health Center. Late Friday evening, officers at OSP found Welch in his single cell with self-inflicted cut wounds to his neck.

“He came home yesterday,” OSP Warden Randy Workman told the News-Capital Monday morning. “And he’s doing fine. He’s in stable condition and he’s eating and talking and showed some remorse.”

Welch, who is scheduled to be executed Jan. 5, was recently denied clemency by a 3-2 vote by the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.

“He’s at the prison’s infirmary unit,” Crenshaw said. “He’ll be monitored 24 hours a day and he will continue to be monitored up until his execution.”

Welch received his death sentence in 1996 after he was found guilty of the Aug. 25, 1994, murder of 35-year-old Robert Dean Hardcastle.

Welch has continued to maintain that his killing of Hardcaslte was in self-defense. However, Welch’s death sentence has been upheld by all courts, as all of his appeals have been denied.

If his execution is carried out as scheduled, Welch will be the first death row inmate in the United States to be executed in the year 2012.

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