Emotional testimony as judge considers penalty in Middleburg murder case

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — Loved ones of the Middleburg mother who was strangled and stabbed in her own home filled a Clay County courtroom Monday.

State Attorney Melissa Nelson argued that Davidson should be put to death for the murder of Welsh.


Action News Jax has followed this story since 2014 when Welsh’s then-13-year-old son discovered her dead on the bathroom floor of the home.

Investigators said Davidson cut his ankle monitor and abducted Welsh's then-10-year-old daughter.
Davidson was a childhood friend of Welsh's husband, Michael Scott.

Action News Jax was there when Davidson shocked everyone and pleaded guilty to all the charges against him, including murder and kidnapping.

The sentencing phase of the trial began Monday.

Welsh’s family shared victim impact statements with the court.

Scott said, “Roseanne’s death will forever be an event that has resulted in me losing my freedom of choice, took my sanity, made me hate and hurt my children beyond any type of pain.”

Welsh’s son, whom Action News Jax has chosen not to identify, said, “I have a large hole in my heart. I just don’t understand why this happened to my family and me.”

STAY UPDATED: Download the Action News Jax app for live updates on breaking stories

Download WJAX Apps

Davidson did not look up at the family members as they addressed the court.

Davidson was conditionally released from prison in September 2014, just months before the attack on Welsh.

He had previously been convicted of lewd and lascivious molestation and aggravated battery on a pregnant female.

The prior victim emotionally described the encounter to the court on Monday.

Davidson faces nine counts, including murder, kidnapping and molestation.

As of Monday evening, the defense was set to make its argument against the death penalty Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Follow Action News Jax’s Beth Rousseau on Twitter @BethANJax for updates from the courtroom.