Welch Capital Chief's Son Pleads Not Guilty In Drunk-Driving Death

Sep 24 2012 | 1:04pm ET

The son of Welch Capital Management founder Leighton Welch has pleaded not guilty to drunk-driving charges stemming from a four-wheeler accident that killed his prep. school roommate.

James Welch was arraigned today on one count of negligent vehicular homicide in Virginia City, Mont. His father and mother were in court with the 19-year-old.

Welch was arrested in August at Montana's exclusive Yellowstone Club resort, after a late-night accident that killed Parker Regan, the son of Chartis Group co-founder R. Christopher Regan and Welch's roommate at Connecticut's Suffield Academy. Welch told the Montana Highway Patrol that Regan fell out of the all-terrain vehicle he was driving while he was making a left. But police say that Welch smelled of alcohol and had watery and bloodshot eyes—and bloody clothes. Welch refused to submit to either a breath or blood test, although police later got the latter after obtaining a warrant. Police say he was driving on the wrong side of the road.

It's the second time this year Welch has faced drunk-driving charges; he was convicted on April 17, according to an affidavit, although it is unclear where that crime occurred. The Bronxville, N.Y., resident remains free on $50,000 bond.

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