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Double-homicide suspect pleads not-guilty

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Rome double murder suspect Aaron Welch was in Oneida County Court Friday morning.

Welch's arraignment lasted only a couple of minutes, where his attorney entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf. When the judge asked the suspect if he was Aaron Welch, Welch said, "Sometimes." Then Welch said that he hears voices in his head.

What police believe to be a self-inflicted wound was visible on Welch's throat. Investigators believe he tried to harm himself immediately following the murders, June 4.

Welch is accused of stabbing estranged girlfriend Stephanie Morrison to death, then turning the knife on Shaun Kessler, who was spending the night with a friend at Morrison's apartment. The friend was babysitting Morrison's young daughter.

Prosecutors extended a plea offer to Welch, but did not disclose the details of the offer. Welch is due back in Oneida County Court August 7 to let the court know if he wants to take the offer, or go to trial.

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