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Early in 2005, the Wells got permission to visit Christina at her home. Maureen Welch said that they both seems disturbed by their child’s appearance and that Mike commented that he didn’t realize he had hurt her so badly. He told Welch that she was a ‘guardian angel’ for taking care of his child for all those years.
Then on March 15, 2006, Christina Welch died. She was just 19-years-old. The medical examiner determined that the cause of death was a result of the traumatic brain injury she had suffered as a baby, almost 20-years before. He determined her death was a homicide. Prosecutor Michael Halkitis went after Wells. Halkits was the same prosecutor who put him and his wife in jail for the initial abuse of Christina in 1989. He said it wasn’t a hard decision to prosecute him for her murder, even though he had apparently straightened up his life in the interim. He said they didn’t expect her to live back then and were ready to prosecute him at that time should she have died. He said it didn’t matter to him that it was almost 20-years later, he feels that Wells is still responsible for her death.
Halkitis also points out that the two cases are different because of a plea deal the Wells took when they were initially sentenced for child abuse against Christina. In the 1989 case, they were sentenced to prison for unspecified acts of child abuse. Since Christina had suffered broken ribs, a broken clavicle and bruises to her head during the shaking, Halkitis was able to specify the shaking and covering the baby’s mouth as separate, specific acts that caused Christina’s brain damage and eventual death. By doing this, the judge ruled out the double-jeopardy argument of the defense as well as the argument that the death occurred more than a year and a day after the offense, as per old English common law.
In March 2010, Christopher Michael Wells, now 42-years-old, apparently decided not to risk a jury trial in which he could have faced life in prison. Instead, he pleaded no contest to second-degree murder. He has been sentenced to 15-years in prison. As part of the plea deal, Wells will not be able to appeal the case. So the father is now jailed for the second time for abusing daughter Christina Welch. Tina Wells was not charged in Christina’s death. She is currently living in mobile home with her mother and her other children in Monticello, Georgia.