NewsCrime and Courts


Inmate sentenced for vehicular homicide dies after getting pinned under an excavator

Montana State Prison
Posted at 3:45 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 18:01:26-04

HELENA — The Montana Department of Corrections says an inmate at the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge died Wednesday when he became pinned under an excavator.

DOC communications director Carolynn Bright identified the inmate as 55-year old Donald Welborn, Jr.

According to Bright, Welborn was operating the excavator at the prison ranch when he became pinned underneath.

The Powell County coroner and the Powell County Sheriff's Office responded.

Welborn died at the scene.

According to the Montana Board of Pardons & Parole, Welborn was serving time for a felony vehicular homicide conviction from Beaverhead County.

Welborn pleaded guilty in May 2016 of fatally striking 32-year-old Mary Merino as she was walking along Interstate 15 just north of Dillon on October 28, 2015.

Welborn was high on methamphetamine when he struck Merino and left the scene.