0726 WELBORN ESCORT

Jonathan Welborn, 32, is escorted to a Saline County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle Thursday after being convicted of two counts of negligent homicide and two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor stemming from the 2017 drowning deaths of his two children. Welborn was sentenced to the maximum of 52 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction.

After deliberating for only about 20 minutes, a jury of seven men and six woman found a father guilty of causing the death of his two children. 

While in Saline County Circuit Court Thursday, Jonathan Welborn, 32, was stoic as the verdict was read. Welborn received the maximum sentence, 52 years, for his charges which included two counts of negligent homicide and two counts of endangering the welfare of the minor. 

During his testimony, Welborn admitted to driving his vehicle while under the influence of methamphetamine with his children inside. The vehicle traveled from a residence on Highway 298 in Paron across a field and into a pond.

"We–officers of the court, court personnel, prosecuting and defense attorneys–some times get a little hardened to things, but we never do get used to cases like this," Judge Grisham Phillips told the jury at the conclusion of the trial. 

More about this trial will be included in Friday's edition of The Saline Courier. 

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