Two counts of homi­cide added in kids’ deaths

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - BRAN­DON RID­DLE

Charges have been added against one of two Arkansans held in the deaths of two young chil­dren who drowned Wed­nes­day night after the truck they were left alone in rolled into a pond.

Jonathan Daniel Wel­born, 30, now faces two counts of neg­li­gent homi­cide in the deaths of a 2-year-old girl and a 6-month-old boy, records show.

Wel­born and Brit­tany Ni­c­hole Hairston, 26, also face counts of first-de­gree en­dan­ger­ing the wel­fare of a mi­nor.

Bail has been set at $100,000 and $25,000, re­spec­tively, ac­cord­ing to the Saline County jail.

The Saline County sher­iff’s of­fice said deputies were dis­patched to 16956 Ar­kan­sas 298 at 9:44 p.m. Wed­nes­day, about 3 miles from where Wel­born and Hairston said they live, near Ben­ton.

When deputies ar­rived, they found the truck sub­merged with its lights on in a pond across the road from a house. Emer­gency work­ers found the chil­dren, Sofia Wel­born and Zane Wel­born, still strapped in their car seats after be­ing left alone for about 30 min­utes, au­thor­i­ties said.

Nei­ther child was breath­ing, and nei­ther had a pulse, ac­cord­ing to an ar­rest re­port.

Deputies were told Jonathan Wel­born and Hairston were play­ing pool in­side the house when the truck rolled across the high­way and into the pond, ac­cord­ing to the ar­rest re­port.

Both re­mained jailed as of Fri­day af­ter­noon, ac­cord­ing to an on­line in­mate ros­ter.

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