COBB COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A long-awaited day of justice for the widow whose husband was shot as he tried to protect her from armed robbers. A Cobb County judge sentenced Demarious Green" and Dylan Ledbetter to life in prison for killing Anthony Welch and shooting his wife outside the Pappadeaux restaurant on Windy Hill Road in October of 2016.
Prosecutor said Green and Ledbetter were armed when they robbed and then show Anthony and Cynthia. The 48-year-old father and husband died from his injuries.
“We had just finished my birthday dinner. I kissed him and told him I loved him and he told me he loved me and we were holding hands on the way back to the car. The next thing I know, it happened. He was shot and I was shot,” the widow said with loved ones and prosecutors at her side following the verdict last week.
The men snatched jewelry from Cynthia as she laid in the parking lot next to her dying husband. Four days after the shooting, two men armed with a handgun robbed a man of a chain necklace and other items in the parking lot at the Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta, in Woodstock. Due to similarities, Woodstock Police and Cobb Police investigators believed the two cases could be related. This robbery occurred in the daytime, allowing better images of the attackers and their vehicle, and investigators issued a BOLO for the vehicle, which had Florida tags.
On Oct. 15, 2016, the vehicle from the Cherokee case was spotted at the Red Roof Inn motel in Marietta, about a half mile from the Pappadeaux restaurant. Officers confirmed the tag matched the BOLO, and when the vehicle left the motel, uniform Cobb Police officers initiated a traffic stop. Ledbetter was driving, with Greene in the front passenger seat and a third man sitting in the back. Ledbetter pulled into a Shell station as if to stop, but as officers approached he put the car in gear and attempted to flee. That’s when his vehicle struck a Cobb Police officer, hit another car and then jumped a curb, causing its airbags to deploy. Greene jumped out and ran to the nearby Masters Inn motel. Ledbetter also ran – straight toward a plainclothes officer who fired his weapon, striking Ledbetter three times. The third man remained in the vehicle with his hands up. A K-9 officer searched the trail from the car to the Masters Inn and recovered the chain belonging to the Woodstock victim. A search warrant executed on the vehicle yielded a .380 Kel-Tec pistol – reported stolen earlier that month in Broward County, Florida – that GBI ballistics experts later matched to the bullets removed from Anthony and Cynthia Welch. Other evidence, including security videos, cell tower records, and geolocation analysis, corroborated both defendants’ presence at the scenes of the crimes.
Thursday, family and friends gave powerful statements in court during the sentencing hearing. A sobbing Cynthia Welch talked about the night Greene and Ledbetter took her husband of 24 years from her. She along with other family members packed a courtroom and stood before a Cobb County Superior Court judge begging for the maximum sentence.
In a surprise move, Ledbetter spoke to the court and the family.
The defense for both men asked for leniency but the prosecution called the acts egregious asking for the maximum sentence adding even that wasn’t enough.