Teen defendants in the murder case of a former Onslow County deputy William Clifton set for trial

Grand jury indictments were issued by the Onslow County Prosecuting Attorney Jamie B. Askins on October 9, 2018 for defendants Caitlyn Ridgeway and William Welch.

Caitlyn Ridgeway was brought into Onslow County Superior Court on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at the 2pm session in the first degree murder of former Onslow County Deputy William Clifton. The death penalty will not be sought in the non-capital murder case. Trial is set for January 2019. Ridgeway is represented by Attorney Paul Castle of Jacksonville, NC.

DA Askins specifically asked, while looking briefly into the audience, for the court to protect the records in this case as there has been sensitive information leaked out to the public. Particular information being publicized in such a preliminary stage of a high profile case as this can potentially taint the jury pool and the prosecution plans to proceed in true justice on all cases with fair trial proceedings. Additionally, such information tied to the emotional impact of the victims family members creates additional emotional stress and rehashes grief in the loss of their loved one.

Ridgeway will not be facing the death penalty and pleaded not guilty in the murder of William Clifton.

Family members of Ridgeway and Clifton were present in court on behalf of their family members.

Today, the Rule 24 hearing for Will Welch took place in the 2pm session of Onslow County Superior Court for three charges:

  1. Murder
  2. Conspiracy
  3. Robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Welch’s attorney, Jake McMahon is from PA whose expertise is in high profile, homicide, federal and appeal cases with 40 years of experience and sponsored by Jacksonville, NC attorney Christopher J. Welch.

McMahon entered a not guilty plea for William (Will) Welch on all charges.

The family of Welch sat in support of the defendant during the hearing today.

Trial is set for January 2019 in the matter of defendant Will Welch as well.

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