Huntington woman gets 15 years in case linked to 2019 murder

Kerry Ann Welch, 31, of Huntington
Kerry Ann Welch, 31, of Huntington(Angelina County Jail)
Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 5:21 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - One of five people charged in connection with a 2019 murder case pleaded guilty in court Monday and was sentenced to 15 years, but not for murder.

In August of 2019, Joseph Jerome Williams, 49, was beaten unconscious in front of witnesses and his dead body was found in the back of a truck.

The five co-defendants connected to the case all face charges of murder and tampering with evidence.

As part of a plea agreement, Kerry Ann Welch, 31, of Huntington will testify against the four other co-defendants, Linda Cook, Shawn Buckner, Leah Tudor, and Mykel Whitehead.

Welch’s murder charge was dropped and she pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence with intent to impair a human corpse and received a 15-year sentence.

Welch also received a 10-year sentence for a drug possession charge. The two sentences will run concurrently.

A jury was selected in March for the trial of co-defendant Leah Tudor.

No court dates have been scheduled for the other defendants.

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