Kevin Hayslett speaks with NBC WFLA about Tampa man accused of killing ex-girlfriend’s unborn child

By Associated Press
By Jeff Patterson

TAMPA, FL -The 28-year-old son of a Florida fertility doctor has been charged by federal authorities with tricking his girlfriend into taking a pill used to induce labor and cause an abortion, killing the fetus she was carrying.

John Andrew Welden was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on charges of product tampering and first-degree murder. He faces up to life in prison if convicted of the murder charge. He’s also the defendant in a lawsuit filed in state court by his ex-girlfriend, 26-year-old Remee Lee.

“Whenever a woman is robbed of her ability to give birth and have a child, I don’t think there’s any greater harm you can cause somebody,” said Lee’s attorney, Gil Sanchez. “She’s devastated. She still can’t believe this happened to her.”

David Weisbrod, who represented Welden in the first federal court appearance Wednesday, declined to comment to The Associated Press. During the hearing Wednesday, Weisbrod characterized his client’s actions as aberrant, but said Welden had no criminal history. A U.S. magistrate judge ordered him held without bond.

According to court documents, the couple met in mid-2012 and became romantically involved. Lee became pregnant in February 2013 and was elated about her pregnancy when she told Welden the news. Welden, however, urged Lee not to have the baby.

In late March, the records say, Lee went to the office of Dr. Stephen Welden, her boyfriend’s father, for an exam.

Court records say Welden told Lee that his father had discovered she had a bacterial infection and had prescribed an antibiotic, Amoxicillin, to treat her.

Lee and her attorney, along with federal prosecutors, say Welden forged his father’s signature on a prescription for Cytotec and relabeled a pill bottle as “Amoxicillin.” Cytotec, known also as misoprostol, is a drug used to induce labor.

It is typically taken in conjunction with another drug, mifepristone, to cause an abortion during the first nine weeks of pregnancy. Mifepristone, which is typically taken first, causes an embryo to detach from the uterine wall. Misoprostol is typically taken two days later to cause contractions and push the embryo out of the uterus. These drugs are not the same as Plan B, or the “morning after pill”, which is intended to prevent pregnancy.

Lee was six weeks and five days pregnant.

Welden said she began to bleed while at work and went to the hospital, where she discovered that she had been given the drug used in medically induced abortions.

Court records say Welden told Lee while she was at the hospital that he had given her Cytotec, not Amoxicillin. Lee is suing Welden for battery, intentional infliction of emotional harm, and punitive damages.

Welden’s father, the doctor, has not been accused of wrongdoing, and has not been charged with any crime. Someone answering the phone at his OB-GYN office in Tampa hung up when a reporter called.

Attorney Kevin Hayslett is not involved in the case, but he says it may have far-reaching implications.

Hayslett says, “You’ve got to remember, this is a federal case now, so this affects every state.”

Hayslett says the facts of the case may put a father’s rights against those of a mother.

“Every day in Anytown USA, there is mother who makes the decision that she is going to abort the unborn fetus,” says Hayslett. “Yet, the father wants the child. The father has no right to force her to have that child, and when she aborts the child, the federal government or the state government takes zero action against her, there’s no crime, there is no civil action, and yet the father has standing because technically, it’s half his.”

Florida Based Insurance Group Grows Despite Tough Economy

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Clegg Insurance Group, a Florida-based insurance agency headquartered in the Tampa Bay area, acquired Florida Insurance Partners Wednesday.

The acquisition means customers who have relied upon Florida Insurance Partners for their insurance needs will now benefit from being a part of the Clegg Insurance umbrella.

“We’re excited about this acquisition, not only because it nearly doubles the size of our business, but it increases the range of options present and future clients have access to,” said Ryan Clegg, founder and president of Clegg Insurance Group.

Clegg Insurance Group serves customers throughout the southeastern U.S.

Until this acquisition, Clegg Insurance Group has grown entirely from the ground up by providing local businesses, families and individuals with exceptional customer service.

“Though a name people are used to is changing, our effort to exceed our customers’ expectations and deliver exceptional service will remain our number one priority,” Clegg said.

Florida Insurance Partners was founded in 2008 and primarily served customers located throughout central Florida.

This is the first acquisition for Clegg Insurance Group.

Additionally, Clegg Insurance Group is accepting applications from qualified candidates.

About Clegg Insurance Group
Founded in 2010, Clegg Insurance Group is a full service independent insurance agency with offices in Clearwater and Safety Harbor serving the entire state of Florida. Clegg Insurance Group provides a tailored approach to each client’s unique insurance needs. With a specialization in property and casualty insurance, Clegg Insurance Group works with over 100 carriers to provide the most affordable options to their clients.