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Details Emerge Regarding Double Homicide In Rome

Gino Geruntino, WIBX

Rome Police are beginning to release information regarding yesterday’s incident on Myrtle Street, ending in the death of two people.

Rome Police Detective Commander Timothy Bates says the suspect, Aaron Welch, 26, had been waiting for Stephanie Morrison, 22, to get home from work yesterday morning at around 6:30.

“We believe he knew the approximate time she would be arriving home from her job and was in waiting outside the residence for her to arrive,” Bates said. “When she was in the doorway, she was attacked.”

When Welch attacked Morrison in the doorway of her home, the commotion roused concern from her two house guests, Shawn Kessler, 31, and his girlfriend. Kessler attempted to come to her aid, but was attacked as well.

Morrison was later found dead inside the home, while Kessler died a short time later in the hospital from his injuries. Kessler’s girlfriend was uninjured, along with Morrison’s child, whom she had with Welch.

A police search was launched to find the suspect, who was found by Rome Police dogs inside of a vehicle. Bates says Welch was then taken to the hospital, where he is recovering from self-inflicted wounds.

“Since he was located and taken into custody, he’s been hospitalized… with serious injuries that our investigation indicates were self-inflicted,” Bates said. “Those injuries appear to have been caused by a sharp-edged instrument.”

Bates says he is conferring with the District Attorney to determine what charges will be levied against Welch. As of now, he remains in a local hospital under police guard.

These are the city’s third and fourth murders of the year.

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