TAMPA, Fla. — She was excited to be pregnant, excited enough that she brought the new sonogram of her unborn child to show coworkers.
But hours later that day in late March, R.L. — as she came to be known in the pile of criminal court documents that followed — felt sick, with cramping and pain.
R.L. went home and bled heavily the next day. She began to suspect the antibiotics her boyfriend had given her weren’t really antibiotics at all.
Then, on March 31, doctors in Tampa, Fla., confirmed the worst: Her unborn child was dead.
Her boyfriend, James Andrew Welden, had given her an ulcer pill that, as a side effect, can induce abortion.
A judge will decide whether to accept the plea bargain, in which Welden agreed to spend nearly 14 years behind bars on wire fraud and tampering charges in exchange for prosecutors’ dropping a murder charge.
Welden’s attorney, Todd Foster of Tampa, told The Times in a phone interview that the government would not have been able to prove a murder charge because “it was a fact that was not scientifically capable of being demonstrated” that the pill definitely caused the miscarriage.
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