Experts testify, and judge offers sentencing guidlines in John Welden, Remee Lee abortion pill case
Accused of giving ex-girlfriend miscarriage pill
WFTS Staff , Jacqueline Ingles
5:35 AM, Jan 10, 2014
5:32 PM, Jan 10, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. - A federal judge heard from expert witnesses on both sides in the case of a man accused of tricking his girlfriend into taking a miscarriage-inducing pill. Today he ruled one Cytotec pill led to a miscarriage and that John Welden should spend between 13 and 15 years behind bars.
This ruling come after two days of medical testimony and caused Welden's father, Dr. Stephen Welden, an obstetrician, to choke up.
"I want a future for him and I am still praying for a miracle," said Dr. Welden.
While John Welden already pleaded guilty, witnesses testified before the judge, to help decide how much prison time he'll get.
Medical experts for both sides told a federal judge if they believe a drug called Cytotec caused Remee Jo Lee to miscarry at six weeks.
"I think what our experts say is that one cannot know, that the state of science and the state of medical research, just doesn't permit that answer," said Welden's attorney Todd Foster.
Defense attorneys flew in experts from New York City, one of which was affiliated with the World Health Organization.
Welden's stepmother said she was disappointed in the ruling because the defense's experts are 'world renowned.'
However, the judge was not impressed with their lofty resumes and discounted their testimony.
"There is not a shred of evidence to support the defendant's suggestion of miscarriage," the judge told attorneys.
Lee was Welden's pregnant girlfriend, and Welden admits he tricked her into taking a pill that she thought was an antibiotic.
Welden's attorney called two doctors and a pharmacologist to testify. Prosecutors offered two experts that testified that the drug did indeed cause Lee to lose the baby.
Welden pleaded guilty to product tampering and mail fraud, but prosecutors say that tampering caused serious and possibly permanent injury to Lee.
The judge agreed.
Lee was not in court Friday but her family phoned her to inform her of the ruling.
Lee's mother declined to speak but did cry when the judge ruled.
Welden will be sentenced on January 27.
His parents told ABC Action News they will spend the next two weeks praying.