Tampa abortion pill suspect out on bond - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa abortion pill suspect out on bond

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

The man accused of tricking his pregnant girlfriend into taking an abortion pill was released from jail Friday, but under tight bond conditions involving private security guards.

John Andrew Welden, 28, said nothing and an attorney said he had no comment as he walked, surrounded by reporters, to a waiting black Hummer to take him to his father and stepmother's home in Odessa.

As part of conditions for bond, Welden will be confined to the home, allowed to leave only for medical and court appointments, and his family is paying for private security guards to assure Welden remains there and shows up for court.

Welden is facing federal charges of tampering with a consumer product and causing the death of an unborn child. Prosecutors say he told the woman the pills he gave her were Amoxicillin when they were instead Cytotec. Welden's defense has cited a doctor who said it would not be possible to conclude the tablet the girlfriend took actually caused the death of the unborn embryo.

If convicted on the current charges, Welden could face mandatory life in prison, a scenario a federal judge cited in raising concerns about Welden as a flight risk. In addition to the private security, Welden's father and stepmother will use their home to secure a $250,000 bond and the security company is also being asked to sign a $100,000 bond.

"Private security is very, very rare, but is certainly not unheard of," said attorney John Fitzgibbons, who is not involved with the case.

Private security at the expense of the defendant has been used in some high profile cases including that of financial schemer Bernie Madoff.

Welden's attorney Todd Foster has said the security could cost Welden's family tens of thousands of dollars per month.

Related story: 07/01/2013 Release possible for Tampa abortion pill case suspect

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