By Patti Weaver
    (Stillwater, Okla.) – A Stillwater man and woman accused of child neglect for allegedly failing to protect a baby, who is crawling, pulling himself up, and standing, from exposure to heroin, methamphetamine and used syringes in their residence have been ordered to appear in court on Oct. 4.
    James Garrett Welch, 27, who previously lived in Cushing, has also been charged with being a felon in possession of a Glock pistol and having heroin with intent to distribute, as well as possessing methamphetamine and marijuana along with an iPhone stolen from a pickup in El Reno and a vehicle title reportedly stolen in a burglary of a safe in Pawnee County.
    Due to his criminal record, Welch could be given two life prison terms plus seven years if convicted of his charges on which he remains free on bail.
    Six months ago, Welch had been placed on five years’ probation on three counts of passing a forged instrument in Cushing this year, and also for domestic assault and battery by strangulation and attempting to elude in 2016, Payne County court records show.
    Two months ago, Welch was charged with possessing a stolen aluminum trailer on Dec. 10, 2020, a felony on which he has been scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 4, that carries a possible life prison term on conviction due to his criminal record.
    Payton Victoria Alsip, 24, has also been charged with possessing heroin with intent to distribute, along with a misdemeanor count of having the drugs methamphetamine and marijuana. She remains free on bail on her charges punishable on conviction with life in prison plus six years.
    The pair were arrested on Sept. 10 by Payne County Sheriff’s Investigator Brandon Myers, who obtained a warrant to search their rural Stillwater residence for an iPhone reported to have been stolen from a pickup at a convenience store in El Reno, according to his affidavit.
    After Welch admitted having the phone, the investigator observed drug paraphernalia and a pistol barrel on a living room table, the affidavit alleged.
    When the investigator obtained a second search warrant, five grams of black tar heroin, 80 unused bags, bags of methamphetamine, marijuana oil, and uncapped syringes were seized, the affidavit alleged.
    “Payton Alsip told me that she is constantly having to pick up used needles from their living area,” the affidavit alleged.
    The baby was placed with relatives and the Department of Human Services was contacted, the affidavit said.