Blountsville woman charged with child abuse and assault

A Blountsville woman has been charged with five counts of aggravated child abuse and five counts of second-degree assault. Janice Welch, 51, surrendered to authorities last week. The age of the child was not released but she is under the age of 16 and related to Welch but not her child.

According to court records, the abuse happened over an extended period of time – perhaps over the past year – and the girl was burned repeatedly on multiple places on her body by a stun gun. The burns were so significant that the child is now badly scarred, according to Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey.

Welch, who previously was convicted of animal cruelty in Cullman County in 2008, posted bond of $220,000 and was released from the Blount County Jail. The stun gun case will be brought before a Blount County grand jury.

“Blount County DHR worker Anita Williams did an incredible job in this matter of identifying a situation where abuse was taking place and working with the victim for her to disclose the cause of the injuries,” Casey said. “Blount County Investigator Sue Ashworth and Williams have worked tirelessly in this case. It is a heartbreaking case and the scars will follow this child for her life.”