Former USF student John Andrew Welden, 29, will return to court in two weeks for sentencing, following a series of trials after he plead guilty to mislabeling and tricking his pregnant former girlfriend into consuming pills which caused an abortion.
A federal court judge ruled Friday that the pills were the cause of death for her six-week fetus.
Welden, who was studying to be a doctor, plead guilty last year to forging a prescription for Misoprostol — a drug used to treat ulcers but sometimes used to induce abortions — as an antibiotic and tricking 27-year-old Remee Lee into consuming them, intending to terminate a pregnancy prosecutors said she wished to keep, but he did not wish to reveal to his other girlfriend, who he dated for most of the last seven years and prior to incarceration had plans to marry, according to court documents.
Though Welden’s defense team contended that the pill was not the cause of death of Lee’s embryo, based on the testimony of prosecution experts Dr. Catherine Lynch, vice president for women’s health at USF Health, and clinical pharmacologist
Daniel Buffington, the judge ruled that the possibility of a natural miscarriage was highly unlikely.
Welden faces a sentence of around 13 years and eight months in prison, though he previously faced up to life in prison for charges of first-degree murder under the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.
— Staff report