VAN BUREN, Ark. (WTAQ) - We’re learning more Friday about Waukesha County murder suspect Justin Welch – and what he did after he escaped from custody early Wednesday while being transported to Wisconsin. Police said the 26-year-old Welch spent most of Wednesday at a vacant house near an elementary school in Van Buren Arkansas – where officials said he stabbed a guard and stole the van in which he was being transported. The van was found near the school after Welch reportedly left to hitch a ride. Authorities said he gave a sob story to trucker Timothy Lyon, who started giving him a ride Thursday until he saw a gun in Welch’s bag. He then got police to approach his truck by sending a text message to his mother, claiming he was being held hostage. And to avoid a shootout, Lyon threw Welch’s bag and gun out the window as officers were approaching. Welch was then recaptured. He will return to Wisconsin to face charges that he shot Kimberly Smith in Oconomowoc last October. Prosecutors said a man who was in a custody dispute with Smith hired Welch to kill her.
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