The man accused of stabbing 39-year-old Kim Smith of Oconomowoc to death Oct. 1, has escaped from custody at a rest stop in Arkansas about 2:45 a.m. this morning.
Justin Patrick Welch, 26, was being transported from California to Wisconsin along with four other prisoners, when he allegedly overcame a guard, stabbed him in the hand and beat him in the head. Welch stole the officer’s weapon and shot at a second guard before taking off in the white, 2007 Dodge transport van with the words ‘North Atlantic Extradition’ on both sides.
According to Lt. Brent Grill, of the Van Buren, Arkansas Police Department,. the first guard was treated and released; the second was uninjured. The gun Welch now has in his possession has 10 rounds of ammunition in it.
Arkansas police have not yet received any calls of sightings of the stolen van.