Judge wants more evidence in Tampa abortion pill case - WFLA News Channel 8

Judge wants more evidence in Tampa abortion pill case

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December 9 photo of Welden leaving a hearing December 9 photo of Welden leaving a hearing
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - A federal judge says he is not bound by a plea agreement in an abortion pill case.

John Andrew Welden had agreed to accept the deal instead of a trial.  In accepting a guilty plea, Welden avoided a possible sentence of life in prison.  The plea deal was set aside on Monday

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara told attorneys he wants to hear more evidence in the case.

When he entered the plea deal, Welden admitted that he gave his then girlfriend the drug Cytotec. Experts say Cytotec can cause early contractions in a pregnancy and the loss of an unborn child.

Related content: more coverage of abortion pill case

Evidence shows Welden relabeled a pill bottle as "amoxicillin" and convinced his girlfriend to take the pill.  Welden also plead guilty to federal charges of product tampering and mail fraud.  Welden admitted to forging a prescription and illegally obtaining the Cytotec.  Welden's father is a gynecologist.  He obtained the paper for the prescription from him, then forged his father's signature.

An attorney for Welden's former girl friend says he is certain that government prosecutors will be able to prove the drug Cytotec caused the victim to lose her unborn child.

"In my opinion it's actually a good thing because the judge is going to see and obviously this is a public hearing so there is going to be medical experts saying Remee did suffer substantial bodily harm.", said attorney Gil Sanchez who represents Remee Lee, Welden's former girl friend.

 Sanchez says by throwing out the plea deal, Welden could end up serving more time than he originally agreed to.

" I feel that either the plea agreement is going to stand the way it is, or it could be moved upward to 15 years.", said Sanchez.

A new hearing date has been set for January 9th in the case.

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