We are essential, and so are you! Our firm is still open for business and accepting new clients. To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering new and current clients the ability to meet with us via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options.
Free Consultation

Hillsborough County Man Charged with Murder for Killing Unborn Child

John "Andrew" Welden, the son of a Lutz fertility doctor, has been charged with first-degree murder and product tampering in Tampa's federal court. Federal prosecutors alleged Welden killed an ex-girlfriend's unborn child by tricking her into taking an abortion drug.

Prosecutors claim Welden forged his father Dr. Stephen Ward Welden's on a prescription for Cytotec, a drug used to induce abortion or to treat a "missed" miscarriage. He reportedly relabeled a pill bottle as "Amoxicillin" and told the woman that his father wanted her on antibiotics.

The woman took a pill on her way to work, then quickly felt abdominal pain and began bleeding, the prosecutor said. She lost the baby at a hospital.

The incident occurred in March after an ultrasound at the elder Welden's office confirmed the pregnancy. The doctor, a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist, has not been accused of any crime.

The woman, Remee Lee, was six weeks and five days pregnant. Her attorney has indicated that she was excited about the pregnancy and wished to keep the baby.

Welden could not be charged with the murder of a 6-week-old fetus in Florida's state courts because Florida's laws reference unborn children which were a viable gestational age. Federal law, however, is different. The federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 defines "unborn child" as "a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb."

Murder is not typically prosecuted in federal court, absent additional crimes and circumstances. If someone kills an unborn child while committing a federal crime though, it's considered murder. Welden faces life in prison if convicted.

In Welden's case, the federal crime authorities claim he committed as part of the murder is product tampering, "with reckless disregard for the risk that another person would be placed in danger of death or bodily injury." This references the re-labeling of the prescription drug Cytotec.

Welden allegedly admitted his actions in a confession recorded by Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office detectives and a drugstore surveillance camera captured the Cytotec purchase, according to prosecutors.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Member of The Following Legal and Practice Organizations

  • American inns of court
  • norml
  • National association of criminal defense lawyers
  • Clearwater bar association
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Let Us Help You

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Clearwater Office
615 Turner Street
Clearwater, FL 33756

Phone: 727-315-1685
Phone: (727) 446-7505
Fax: 727-446-8147
Clearwater Law Office Map

Tampa Office
1710 N. 19th Street
Unit #210
Tampa, FL 33605

Phone: 727-315-1685
Map & Directions

Please Direct All Correspondence to the Clearwater Office