Welsh arrested again in Oneida Co.; threats put local hospitals on lockdown ThursdaySubmitted: 04/20/2018
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Welsh arrested again in Oneida Co.; threats put local hospitals on lockdown Thursday
RHINELANDER - Sixty-two-year-old Kenneth Welsh lasted just eight days as a free man before being arrested in Oneida County again.

Welsh is now in Oneida County Jail, accused of making terrorist threats.

Those threats put hospitals in Rhinelander and Tomahawk on lockdown on Thursday.

Oneida County Sheriff Grady Hartman said Welsh made the threats to a hospice company after they withdrew service from his terminally-ill wife.

"I can't remember the exact quote, but it [included] some threats that made us believe that he may be contemplating a violent attack on the hospice company," Hartman said.

In 2016, Welsh caused a three-hour police standoff in Tripoli. Police say he shot at his wife and threatened to blow up his house.

He was released last Wednesday after two years in prison and jail.

"He had been out of prison less than a week, and was already threatening violence," Hartman said. "We had to certainly understand that he was capable of that violence and take appropriate action."

During his initial appearance on Friday, Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom set a $20,000 cash bond for Welsh.

"What I assumed is that over two years of being locked up, you squared some things away in your mind," Bloom said. "After being out for barely a week...allegedly you stated, 'If this doesn't go good, I will wreak havoc on all of you.'"

On Wednesday, Welsh sent Newswatch 12 an email. He complained his wife's hospice care was discontinued and he couldn't afford her medications. He did not threaten violence in the email, but apparently did to the hospice company on Thursday.

"In today's day in age, we simply cannot tolerate someone making threats to harm people and having a mass casualty type of situation," Hartman said. "We have to take those kinds of threats seriously."

In court Friday, Welsh called the situation a "misunderstanding." He said he didn't even remember a conversation with the hospice company.

"If I said something out of line, I'm sorry, it wasn't intentional," he told Bloom.

Welsh will return to court on April 27.

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