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Deputies: Woman on meth shoots boyfriend, says she thought he was an intruder

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A Cherokee County woman, who was allegedly on methamphetamine, shot her boyfriend twice and told deputies she mistook him for an intruder, officials said Monday. But then the couple reportedly waited about two hours before reporting the shooting at the home where investigators said they found several caged snakes.

Deputies were dispatched to the home around 2:30 p.m. Sunday in the 400 block of Hester Driver after getting a call about a person shot in the Freehome Community, according to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. They arrived at the home to find the victim and the suspect, the sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Jay Baker said.

The victim, David Welchel, 40, had a gunshot wound to back and a gunshot wound to his shoulder, Baker said. His girlfriend, Ms. Jessica Couch, 31, was not injured, he said.

Ms. Couch told police she had shot Mr. Welchel because she thought he was an intruder, Baker said. Both the victim and the suspect lived at the home, deputies said.

Investigators arrived on the scene and obtained a search warrant for the property while Welchel was taken to North Fulton Hospital with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries, Baker said. During the search of the home, deputies found a 22-caliber handgun that they believed to be the weapon used in the shooting, he said. It’s unclear who owned the gun.

Investigators also discovered that Couch and Welchel waited approximately two hours before calling 911, the spokesman said. Couch allegedly admitted to being on methamphetamine at the time of the shooting, Baker said.

Detectives found eight copperheads and a rattlesnake caged inside the home and contacted the Georgia Department of Natural Resources who will be conducting their own investigation into the snakes, Baker said.

Couch was charged with aggravated assault, but additional charges are likely, Baker said. She was transported to the Cherokee Adult Detention Center where she remained Monday without bond, he said.