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Bond hearing for John Welden, man accused of tricking girlfriend into taking abortion pill

5:32 PM, Jun 20, 2013   |    comments
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TAMPA, Florida - The man accused of tricking his pregnant girlfriend into taking an abortion pill was in federal court Wednesday for a bond hearing. 

John Welden has remained in jail since his arrest last month. It is now in a judge's hands whether Welden will be given bond or not. It's unclear when the judge will make a decision.

The courtroom was packed for the hearing. Dozens of Welden's family and friends showed up to support him. The alleged victim, Remee Lee, along with her family and attorneys were also at the hearing, although no one from that group spoke.

Prosecutors argued the 28-year-old should remain behind bars, and that he is a danger to the community. They also played recorded jail conversations in which they claim Welden was trying to keep family members and friends from talking to the FBI.

In one conversation that was played, he told a person believed to be his brother, "I need you to call Tara and if the FBI calls her, just tell her she can tell them to (blank) themselves."

Prosecutors also claim Welden is a flight risk.

Welden is being charged with tampering with a consumer product that resulted in serious bodily injury and intentionally causing the death of an unborn child in utero - the Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004. Federal prosecutors said Welden forged the signature of his physician father to get the pills. He then allegedly switched the label to make it look like a bottle of antibiotics.

Welden's defense attorney argued his client has strong ties to the community and is not a flight risk or a threat.

"People raised their hand and said that they were willing to vouch and sign property assuring this young man will come back to court as ordered by a judge, if the judge sees fit to release him," said Welden's attorney, Todd Foster, after the hearing.

One option Foster asker for was house arrest.

Welden's defense team also touched on what appears to be part of the defense, that there is no way in this situation the one pill could have caused an abortion.

"I think the judge will do the fair thing and the right thing. I think we presented the evidence we thought was appropriate," said Foster.

The judge is now weighing the options, but he did say in court "Any defendant would be a fool not to run" in regards to Welden possibly taking off.

Welden could possibly face a life sentence.

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