The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 7, 2013

Joplin woman faces trial on seven counts, including elder abuse

A Joplin woman waived preliminary hearings this week on seven felony counts she is facing, including one alleging elder abuse, and was ordered bound over for trial.

Julie K. Welton, 43, waived the hearings Wednesday in Jasper County Circuit Court on two counts of forgery, two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance, and single counts of elder abuse, burglary and receiving stolen property.

The burglary and elder-abuse counts stem from an incident June 6 of last year at a West 23rd Street address, where the defendant went to the door of an acquaintance seeking her cellphone. Lillian L. Rowden, 61, answered the door and told her that another person had already picked up the phone.

A probable-cause affidavit alleges that Welton called Rowden a liar, grabbed her by the hair and punched her in the face, and then began hitting her with a flashlight. Rowden reportedly suffered cuts to her face, neck, arm and foot, and a fractured femur.

One of the forgery counts pertains to an alleged attempt to pass a check in the name of a deceased person on June 19 of last year at the Price Cutter supermarket in Webb City. In the course of her arrest on that charge, a small amount of methamphetamine allegedly was found in her possession, resulting in one of the drug counts, according to court records.

Associate Judge Richard Copeland set initial appearances for Welton on the charges in two trial divisions of the court on Feb. 25 and March 1.