Defendant in abortion pill case still in jail - WFLA News Channel 8

Defendant in abortion pill case still in jail

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PINELLAS COUNTY, FL -

The man who authorities say tricked his girlfriend into taking an abortion pill will remain in the Pinellas County jail while a judge decides whether he can be released on bond.

The question of whether John Andrew Welden would be a flight risk appeared to be of particular concern, with Welden facing the possibility of a mandatory life sentence if convicted on the counts against him.

"I think your client would be a fool not to run if I release him," said Judge Anthony Porcelli, later saying that applies to any defendant facing mandatory life.

Porcelli said he would issue a written order on the bond issue, and set another hearing if he decided Welden could be released on bond with certain conditions.

An attorney for Welden argued in federal court Thursday that he should be allowed to be released on bond posted by family and friends. About two dozen supporters packed the courtroom, raising their hands when attorney Todd Foster asked who would be willing to pledge a bond for Welden's release.

Foster also argued the pill at issue didn't cause the termination of Remee Lee's pregnancy and that she was already in the process of having a miscarriage.

"The conduct of this defendant, although it may be many things, is not murder," Foster said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Muldrow argued that Welden is a danger to the community – specifically to the alleged victim – and should remain behind bars.

Muldrow also played jailhouse phone recordings of Welden talking about Lee, who Welden said was "trying to ruin everything." There were also conversations about Tara Fillinger, a woman he had been dating for years, and whether she would talk to the FBI.

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