By Ray King

A Jefferson County man was arrested Wednesday after his girlfriend said he hit her in the eye with a can and damaged the eye.

Corey Welch, 36, was taken into custody after a sheriff’s deputy was sent to McFarland Eye Care where Welch had taken the victim.

During a probable cause hearing in Jefferson County District Court Friday, Deputy Prosecutor Caleb Conrad told the court what the female victim said to the deputy.

Pine Bluff Police were also at the business and removed Welch and the female victim and they were taken to the sheriff’s department and interviewed by Investigators Charles White and Sandra Harper.

The victim said she had not been able to call for help after the incident because her phone had been broken but during the interview investigators heard a phone ring and the victim said she had Welch’s phone in her purse. She said it was the first day she had been able to use the phone. A check of the recent calls showed she had made multiple calls and sent text messages to family and friends and even sent pictures of her injury.

Conrad said Welch was interviewed and gave this statement to investigators.

White reported that investigators also interviewed Welch’s mother who said she saw Welch throw a can at the victim, hitting her in the eye, and said he told the victim “he didn’t mean it.”
Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth set a $5,000 bond for Welch after ruling prosecutors have probable cause to charge him with second-degree battery. He was ordered to have no contact with the victim until the case is settled.