Judge rules Lloyd Welch Jr.'s statements admissible

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BEDFORD (WSLS 10) - During a motions hearing on Tuesday, a judge denied both of the defense's motions.

Judge James Updike ruled Lloyd Welch Jr. breached a provision of an immunity agreement with a Maryland state's attorney which required him to be truthful, candid and complete when talking to investigators.

Welch is set to stand trial in Bedford County for the 1975 murders of Katherine and Sheila Lyon, two young sisters from Maryland.

In a January 6 opinion letter, Updike said the agreement, at face value was valid and enforceable.

However, on Tuesday, he excused the commonwealth from any contractual obligation, due to Welch lying and changing his story over and over in a series of interviews.

Prosecutors said in his first interview, Welch claimed to only have seen a man he recognized, but whose name he didn't know, put the Lyon sisters in a car.

But Welch's story evolved over time until he eventually admitted that he was in a car with two of his relatives and the sisters and that he saw one of the girls being dismembered, helped clean the basement where she was murdered and drove to Virginia to dispose of the remains.

The defense also wanted the death penalty thrown out in this case, saying it doesn't apply to the statute that was on the books in 1975 that Welch is charged with.

Updike did not take the death penalty off the table.

Welch's trial is set to begin on April 18.