Montague man pleads to fleeing police.

February 1, 2016
Franklin Welch with his attorney, Timothy Hayes.

Franklin Welch with his attorney, Timothy Hayes.

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

HART — A 31-year-old Montague man who was arrested following a high speed chase with Oceana County sheriff’s deputies, Dec. 30, pleaded guilty Monday, Feb. 1, in 27th Circuit Court to fleeing and eluding police and driving while license suspended (DWLS).

Franklin Welch, of 2669 Webster Rd., also initially faced one count of third-offense operating while intoxicated, but that was dismissed when he pleaded to the other two counts. A second-offense DWLS charge was also reduced to a first-offense charge.

Oceana County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Craig Mast previously said a deputy witnessed Welch failing to yield for a stop sign on southbound Oceana Drive in New Era at 3:30 a.m. Mast said the deputy activated his lights and siren and then Welch proceeded to flee in speeds exceeding 100 mph.

Welch turned east onto Cleveland Road, went off the road, and struck a small snow bank, but then was able to get back onto the roadway continuing to 88th Avenue where he attempted to turn south. He then lost control of the vehicle, went off the roadway, and struck a utility pole, which caused extensive damage to the vehicle, according to Mast.
Welch then fled on foot from the vehicle and was chased by a deputy who quickly overtook him.

The plea agreement calls for Welch receiving a jail term for his conviction and no prison time.

Sentencing is set for March 14 at 9 a.m.

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