As Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to an end, Harford County’s state’s attorney hopes a recent sentence handed down to a man accused of assaulting his girlfriend at an Aberdeen motel makes potential abusers think twice.
Robert Welborn, 51, who police said had no fixed address, was sentenced to six years in jail Oct. 17 by District Court Judge Kerwin Miller after Welborn was found guilty of second-degree assault.
Prosecutors said Welborn choked the woman at the Cavalier Motel on Route 40 in Aberdeen on Aug. 17 after she refused to give him $20 to buy crack. Welborn was arrested Sept. 1. Welborn was facing a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and/or a $2,500 fine.
State’s Attorney Al Peisinger said a sentence of more than half the maximum jail time sends a message to domestic violence perpetrators in Harford County.
“If they’re going to hit their [partner], there will be significant consequences,” Peisinger said. “I don’t think people realize the seriousness of the situation. People think domestic violence might happen, it might not. It’s a situation that occurs every month.”
About 30 domestic violence misdemeanor cases are heard each Wednesday in Harford County District Court, which translates to approximately 120 a month. There are others — felony cases and district court appeals — in circuit court.
“There’s a situation in this country that we have a whole month [October] dedicated to becoming aware that we have a domestic violence problem,” Peisinger said. “It’s not being looked at lightly and we’re not taking it lightly.”
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Welborn, whose three prior convictions likely played into the six-year sentence, Peisinger said, appealed his conviction and sentence to circuit court, according to electronic court records. A pre-trial conference in the case is scheduled Dec. 6.