John Andrew Welden, the son of a Tampa-area fertility doctor, is accused of tricking his girlfriend into taking an abortion drug to kill her unborn child. Prosecutors allege Welden forged the doctor’s signature on a prescription for Cytotec, relabeled a pill bottle as “Amoxicillin” and told the woman his father wanted her to take the antibiotic. This incident was said to have occurred after an ultrasound at Dr. Stephen Ward Welden’s office that confirmed the pregnancy. The doctor is not accused of a crime.
If one has been charged with unlawfully taking another person’s life, one may be exposed to some of the most severe criminal penalties available in Florida. One must be proactive now to prevent a guilty verdict and the severe consequences this charge could have on one’s future.
In this case, Welden is accused of murder under federal statute 18 USC 1841(a)(C), his punishment being guided by the Federal murder statute. 18 USC 1111(a), the federal murder statute, allows for death or life imprisonment if one is found guilty of first-degree murder. First Degree Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. Every murder perpetrated by poison, lying in wait, or any other kind of willful, deliberate, malicious, may be considered worthy of a first-degree murder charge.
In Florida, Injuries to a fetus are charged in the same degree that injuries to the mother would be. In other words, an injury to the mother that would constitute manslaughter if she died could be charged as manslaughter of the unborn child as well. The punishments correlate all the way up to murder in the first degree. Florida considers any viable fetus an unborn child. Because this is a serious crime involving substantial potential jail time, it is essential to mount an experienced legal defense with the help of a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney.
Many crimes involving a fetus or newborn child being killed is in cases where one have been driving one’s vehicle recklessly or carelessly and accidentally kills another person, either the child, the expectant mother and fetus, or the fetus alone. One may be charged with vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter in this case.
Remember, police are normally not witnesses to crimes, including intentional conduct or accidents that cause death; normally, the police arrive on the scene after the fact. As such, law enforcement may be quick to assume guilt on the living party due to intentional conduct or recklessness. However, homicide cases are not always cases of clear cut guilt. One’s charge may be pled down to a second-degree felony or possibly even lower,, depending on the circumstances.
The State Attorney’s Office many times takes upon themselves the duty to “throw the book” at every potential criminal defendant within the legal system, bringing forward new forms of evidence of the crime as well as strong arguments of one’s guilt. As such, one should obtain an experienced Jacksonville criminal defense attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected. If one obtains an experienced attorney, one can be sure that one will know one’s rights, know what the prosecution and police have access to, and will be able to make sure that wrongfully obtained evidence will not be used against one.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and are here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one require a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Source:Son of Florida fertility doctor accused of killing ex-girlfriend’s fetus with abortion drug, FoxNews.com