Man Who Held Hostages At Bank In Ellicott City Gets 26 Months

January 19, 1992

A Columbia man who held his estranged wife and two other employees hostage at an Ellicott City savings bank in May was sentenced to 26 months in the Howard County Detention Center.

Kenneth Robert Welk, 34, who has been in jail since the May 15 incident at the Washington Federal Savings Bank at St. John's Lane and Frederick Road, was given credit for time served and has 18 months remaining on his sentence.

Circuit Judge Cornelius F. Sybert Jr. also sentenced Welk to fiveyears of supervised probation and ordered him to submit to drug and alcohol testing at the request of his probation officers.

Sybert also ordered Welk not to enter any branch of Washington Federal Savings Bank and to have no contact with the bank's employees.

Welk faces a suspended sentence of 15 years and 10 months if he violates the conditions of his probation.

In September, Welk pleaded guilty to three counts of kidnapping, for which he received five years each, andone count of concealing a dangerous and deadly weapon, which drew a three-year sentence.

Welk arrived at the bank at about 1 p.m. May 15 and after an argument with his wife, who worked as a teller there,held her and two other employees at gunpoint. Police said he enteredthe bank with a handgun, a portable television, a six-pack of beer and a pint of liquor.

Police surrounded the building and attempted to negotiate with Welk to release the hostages.

His wife managed to escape through a side door and Welk released the two other employees by 5 p.m. He emerged from the bank just before 6 p.m. to surrender.

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