Friday, October 9, 2009

Michael Kelly Stevens - Repeat Sex Offender - WANTED for murder

VIDALIA — A 41-year-old convicted sex offender is wanted in connection with a Vidalia murder that was first discovered Sunday.

A warrant for the arrest of Michael Kelly Stevens, 41, formerly of Houston and recently of Vidalia, was filed Tuesday. The charge Stevens is wanted for is second-degree murder.

Stevens is a suspect in the murder of Vidalia resident Michael W. Welch, 52, who was found murdered at his 804 Myrtle St., residence Sunday evening. He had apparently been dead for days.

Welch’s body was sent to the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office for a full autopsy, and Police Chief Ronnie G. “Tapper” Hendricks said investigators would not release a suspected cause of death until the official autopsy is completed.

“For the family’s sake, I want it to be from an official source such as a doctor,” he said.

The suspect is a white male, 6-foot-one-inch tall, 210 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.

Police believe Stevens left the area in Welch’s vehicle, a silver 2006 Chevrolet Silverado. The license plate number is W746162.
Welch had apparently been letting Stevens stay with him in recent months, and Stevens even used Welch’s address when he registered as a sex offender with the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office.
No motive has been established for the killing, Hendricks said.
The suspect was initially convicted as a sex offender in Houston in 1987 following an assault on a 5-year-old boy.

He reportedly moved to Concordia Parish in early 2005, and was arrested in April of that year for fondling a 5-year-old girl at a relative’s apartment in Vidalia.
Stevens was convicted in Concordia Parish on charges of indecent behavior with a juvenile and failure to register as a sex offender following the incident, and served prison time until October 2007 at the Concordia Parish Correctional Facility.

The Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office is providing assistance in the case, and anyone with information about it should contact Vidalia Police Investigator Randy Stockman at 318-336-5254 or CPSO Investigator David Hedrick at 318-336-5231.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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