A Florida man has pleaded guilty to reduced charges of tampering with a consumer product resulting in bodily injury and conspiracy to commit mail fraud after he tricked his girlfriend into taking an abortion pill.
According to NBCNews.com, John Andrew Welden, 28, will avoid a mandatory life sentence, which he originally faced when he was charged under the “Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004,” otherwise known as “Laci and Conner’s Law.”
Under the new plea agreement, he faces up to 15 years in prison for his crimes. Federal prosecutors and Welden’s defense are both recommending a sentence of 13 years and eight months.
"The possibility of a mandatory life sentence, no discretion to the judge, obviously is a big factor," Welden’s attorney, Todd Foster, said. "Obviously it's tragic all around from every angle, and I think that's recognized."
As CNN reports, Remee Lee, 26, discovered she was six weeks pregnant after she and Welden went for a sonogram at Welden’s father’s clinic in Tampa. She was told by Welden that her blood tests revealed she had a bacterial infection, and she needed to take Amoxicillin to treat it.
According to the Inquisitr, Welden forged his father’s signature on a prescription for Cytotec -- a drug that induces labor -- and relabeled the bottle as Amoxicillin. He instructed Lee to take three pills a day.
Lee took one pill and was rushed to the hospital with abdominal pain and bleeding. The unborn baby was lost.
"Every day is a nightmare for me ever since this began," Lee told Chris Cuomo, according to CNN. "Even hearing the guilty (plea) yesterday, it's hard to believe it, it's hard to read it and know that this actually happened to me."
"There's just no words for the horror I wake up with every day that this is my reality. There's no escaping it, there's no turning it off," Lee said.
“Nobody feels good about pleading guilty,” Foster told the Tampa Bay Times. “But he recognizes what’s happened and he’s taken responsibility for what occurred and I think he’s comfortable with that.”
Welden will be sentenced on Dec. 5.