TAMPA - On Monday, Judge Richard Lazzara meticulously went to John Welden's guilty plea to make sure Welden was fully aware of what he was doing.
Welden pleaded guilty in court to "tampering with a consumer product" and "conspiracy to commit fraud". In plain english Welden has accepted responsibility for forging his father's signature, Dr. Stephen Welden, and giving his one time pregnant girlfriend Remee Lee, Cytotek, an abortion pill. And telling her at the time, it was only the antibiotic Amoxicillin.
By accepting the plea deal, Welden gave up his right to a jury trial, and left his fate in the hands of the judge, without any recourse if he doesn't like the sentence.
Todd Foster, who represents Welden, spoke about Welden and how he reached his decision to accept the plea deal outside on the steps of the courthouse.
Consultations with his attorneys and obviously close personal discussions with his family, played a key roll he explained.
He spoke about the harsh reality of that decision, saying Weldon is looking at serious prison time.
"Nobody wants to go to prison for 13 years and 8 months...but this is where we are," Foster said.
The harsh reality for Welden's ex-girlfriend Remee Lee is much different.
"Nothing is ever going to bring back what was taken from her." Gil Sanchez, Lee's attorney would say with Lee and her family standing next to him in silence.
Sanchez also expressed how she and her family feel about the plea deal and Welden's acceptance of guilt.
"We are satisfied that he did come up to the plate and he did admit to his guilt." Sanchez said.
"... again he is now a convicted double felon. And he will remain that way for the rest of his life."
The rest of Welden's life will start at sentencing, which is set for December 5.