Julia and Chris Welton charged with negligent child abuse in death of son Levi, pot use targeted
Was marijuana a contributing factor in the death of two-year-old Levi Welton earlier this year?
Big photos, video below.
Expect this to be among the arguments made against his parents, Julia and Chris Welton. More than two months after Levi died following a fire in the family's Sterling home, his mother and father have been accused of negligent child abuse resulting in death, among other charges -- and pot smoking appears to be central to the case against them. See photos, video and details below.
Facebook pages for Julia, reportedly a medical marijuana card holder, and Chris remain online at this writing, and photos co-starring Levi are featured prominently on each. Here's a shot with him and his dad....
Such joy was replaced by mourning on January 15. At about 7:29 p.m. on that date, according to the South Platte Sentinel, Sterling firefighters responded to the Welton home, located at 125 State Street.
Shortly thereafter, personnel found Levi in a closet, not far from where the fire broke out. He was rushed to a local hospital, but didn't respond to treatment.
The Weltons' home in Sterling, as seen in a 7News screen capture.
Chris was hurt in the incident, suffering burns on his hands, presumably while trying to rescue Levi and his five-year-old brother, Dean. But despite these efforts, he and Julia were soon targeted with accusations of neglect reported by 7News.
A Facebook self-portrait of Chris Welton.
In a report on view below, the station referred to paperwork suggesting that both Levi and Dean had tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, during the weeks and months prior to the fire, which is said to have started in a pile of clothing and blankets underneath the window in the bedroom where Levi was found.
Continue for more about the charges against Julia and Chris Welton, including additional photos and a video.