He will be on supervised probation after he’s released.
Frederick, Md (KM) A Frederick man was sentenced on Wednesday in connection with a hate crime incident. Corey Robert Welch, 18, was given 15 years in prison for both 1st-degree assault and a hate crime offense. But Circuit Court Judge Theresa Adams suspended all but four years.
Spokesman Will Cockey with the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office says Welch and the victim were attending a house party in New Market during the evening hours of February 15th and the early morning hours of February 16th, 2020. During that time, Welch made disparaging comments about what he perceived was the victim’s sexual orientation. The victim felt uncomfortable, and decided to leave, contacting a ride-share driver.
“After he the left the residence, he was attacked from behind viciously by this defendant. He was put in headlock, strangled. The victim lost consciousness three times, and was repeatedly struck in the head by this defendant. It was a brutal attack,” says Cockey.
During the attack, Welch called the victim by anti-gay slurs, according to the State’s Attorney’s Office. Co-defendant Martin Gieser of Ijamsville, assisted in the attack by standing on the victim’s legs, holding him down.
Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched for an assault in progress, and quickly located the victim, who identified Welch and Gieser as his attackers.
At the time of the attack, Welch was a minor. “He was 17 at the time. The State’s Attorney’s Office worked hard to make sure that the defendant was charged as an adult in this case. He was brought to the Frederick Grand Jury on February 21st, 2020,” Cockey says.
Welch pleaded guilty on April 12th, 2021 to 1st-degree assault and a hate crime offense. As part of his sentence, Welch will be placed on five-years supervised probation when he’s released from prison.
Co-defendant Gieser, 19, pleaded guilty on October 15th, 2020 to 2nd-degree assault, and was sentenced to five years in prison.
“This sentence was appropriate given this egregious crime,” Cockey says, referring to Welch’s sentence. “Targeting any person based on their perceived sexual orientation is just completely unacceptable and we will absolutely prosecute these types of cases here in the Frederick community.”
“The victim and his family were satisfied that justice had been served in this case,” Cockey continues. “And this is a moment of closure for this terrible ordeal.”
By Kevin McManus