A Lawrence police detective was allegedly driving at three times the legal limit for alcohol when he struck a parked car in early September, according to court documents.
“I’m not going to survive this,” Adam Welch reportedly told the LPD sergeant who arrived at the scene of the crash.
No one was injured when Welch, 38, was driving his personal vehicle on Sept. 3 and allegedly struck a parked vehicle in the 1500 block of Lindenwood Lane. The parked vehicle “sustained obvious damage,” and both Welch’s vehicle and the one he allegedly struck had to be towed away from the damage, according to a news release from LPD and the crash report.
Welch also reportedly told LPD Sgt. Daniel Ashley to put him in handcuffs and take him to jail, because he was “f—ed,” according to the probable cause affidavit supporting Welch’s charge, released Thursday morning.
Allegations in affidavits have not been proved, and all arrestees and defendants in criminal cases should be presumed not guilty unless and until they are convicted.
Karen Cudlin Wittman, a special prosecutor who works in the Wyandotte County DA’s office, filed a charge against Welch in Douglas County District Court in October. The charging document alleges that Welch operated a vehicle while above the legal blood alcohol concentration limit of .08, a class B misdemeanor.
Welch had been placed on paid leave after the crash, but Laura McCabe, a spokesperson for LPD, said via email in October that he had returned to duty, “and we’re working with him with hopes he remains a valuable member of the department.”
Welch refused sobriety tests at the scene of the crash, but the investigator sought a warrant from a judge to test Welch’s blood, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Douglas County District Court Judge Mark Simpson signed the warrant, and a blood test revealed that Welch’s BAC was 0.25 — or just more than three times the legal limit — about two hours after the crash, the affidavit alleges.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Whitis wrote in the affidavit that Welch had declined to answer how many drinks he’d had that night, or perform sobriety tests to show that he was safe to drive his vehicle. He said he was going to have to talk to a lawyer, according to the affidavit.
Whitis wrote that he took Welch to the Douglas County jail, where Welch had initially agreed to take a breath test.
“About eleven minutes in to the deprivation period Welch stated he was not going to take the breath test and he is going to lose his license for a year,” Whitis wrote. “Affiant told Welch it was up to him what he wanted to do, Affiant just needed to know if he was or was not willing to take a breath test. Welch said he would take the test again. Welch then stated he would not take the test. Affiant provided Welch with verbal and written instruction of the DC-70 blood test. Welch stated he understood what Affiant read to him and he would not provide a sample of his blood.”
After Simpson signed the warrant, Welch’s blood was drawn at LMH Health, according to the affidavit. Welch was booked into the jail, and he bonded out about an hour later on a $250 bond.
Wittman, the special prosecutor, had filed a motion to seal the probable cause affidavit.
In his written order to release the affidavit to the public, Judge Merlin Wheeler wrote: “In the Court’s opinion when attempting to balance the constitutional rights of the defendant with the right to public access to court documents and court proceedings, failure to disclose information leads only to speculation as to the events which, in and of itself, is harmful to fundamental fairness and further leads to public distrust of the manner in which courts conduct these cases and of the manner that our law enforcement agencies conduct investigations of events involving law enforcement officers.”
The defense attorney listed in court records for Welch, Vanessa Riebli of Bath & Edmonds PA, said via email Thursday that she and her client have no comment at this time.
Regarding whether the Douglas County district attorney’s office is concerned about prosecuting cases Welch investigated, Cheryl Cadue, a spokesperson for the office, said last month that “This office will continue to comply with our Brady/Giglio disclosure obligations under our published policy with respect to all law enforcement witnesses in pending cases.”
Welch has been providing training for area law enforcement recently, according to a tweet Wednesday from the DA’s office.
Note: Post updated to add tweet at 11:46 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 3; response from defense attorney at 11:55 a.m.