Closer look at Lloyd Welch immunity agreement

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BEDFORD (WSLS 10) - Accused murderer Lloyd Welch is hanging his hope of freedom on a single sheet of paper he signed three years ago. That was the day he started talking to Maryland investigators about Katherine and Sheila Lyon.

The Montgomery County, Maryland Assistant State's Attorney signed the agreement with Welch, but no prosecutor from the Bedford County Office of the Commonwealth Attorney signed it.

The agreement was made a year before Bedford County investigators became involved in the case.

The Montgomery County State's Attorney agreed to not use Welch's statements against him in "any criminal proceeding." In court records, the defense argues the immunity is not limited to only proceedings in Maryland.

Welch's attorneys say state investigators did not tell Welch that his immunity was only good in Maryland. They claim those same investigators turned Welch's statements over to the Bedford County Commonwealth's Attorney, once they learned the sisters' bodies may have been disposed of in the county.

The defense also notes the Maryland investigators testified before a Bedford grand jury, which they claim breached the agreement with Welch. That grand jury indicted Welch on two counts of murder in 2015.

The Commonwealth says Welch is the one who breached the agreement, so his statements should be fair game. In court records, prosecutors say when talking to Welch, Maryland investigators were under the mistaken belief Welch had nothing to do with the disappearance of Lyon sisters.

The agreement was granted on the condition Welch be truthful and complete when talking to investigators. Prosecutors say on multiple occasions Welch admitted to lying to investigators.

The judge will rule next month whether that immunity agreement will apply when Welch goes on trial here in April.