Trial delayed

A state appeals court will hear evidence of potential double jeopardy concerns before a scheduled retrial in a shooting death in the south part of Hunt County more than five years ago.

A state appeals court will hear evidence of potential double jeopardy concerns before a scheduled retrial in a shooting death in the south part of Hunt County more than five years ago.

Carl Allen Welch, 54, has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder involving the 2014 death of Terry R. Cale of Wills Point.

A jury had been selected and opening arguments and the start of testimony were planned in late August. But the proceedings were halted and a mistrial in the case was announced by 196th District Court Judge Andrew Bench

Prosecutors, defense attorney Katherine Ferguson and Bench have not commented on the reasons for the mistrial.

Bench reset the trial for Dec. 17.

On Nov. 7, Bench received a defense pretrial application for writ of habeas corpus in the case, seeking relief from double jeopardy. While Bench denied the motion, he did approve an appeal to the Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas.

On Nov. 14, Justice Lana Myers issued an order, ordering the Hunt County District Clerk to file a record of the case by Dec. 5, for Welch’s attorneys to file their brief by Dec. 31 and for prosecutors to file their brief by Jan. 24.

“After the record and court briefs have been filed, the court will notify the parties of the submission dates and panel,” Myers said.

The trial had been scheduled to begin in June, even after Bench decided In May against any additional delays in the proceedings, before allowing a continuance.

Welch was indicted by a Hunt County grand jury in October 2017 in connection with Cale’s death.

The Hunt County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers investigated the homicide.

Cale, 54, was reported to have been shot multiple times outside of a residence on Archer Lane in far south Hunt County late on the night of May 16, 2014. Sheriff Randy Meeks has said the shooting appeared to have been the result of a domestic disturbance earlier in the evening.

Welch was taken into custody following Cale’s death, was charged with one count of murder and was released on $75,000 bond.

Murder is a first degree felony, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of from five to 99 years to life in prison.

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