A Philadelphia man accused of embarking on a drug-fueled joyride, intentionally killing a steakhouse chef and causing injuries and damages across two counties has now pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, according to authorities.
On July 27, 2021, Kareem Welton, 43, went on a violent crime spree that started when he tried to rob a hospital’s public safety officer's bicycle, Front Page Detectives previously reported.
Welton then stole a Chevrolet Malibu. He followed up the theft by taking a 5-year-old Maltese Poodle mix named Legend and driving down Broad Street in Philadelphia, where he hit a motorcycle and injured two people, prosecutors said.
The suspect then drove onto a sidewalk and hit and injured a passerby. He also struck and killed steakhouse chef Adriana Moreno-Sanchez, according to prosecutors. Welton stole her chef’s jacket and abandoned the car.
The crime spree continued when Welton tried to rob another car nearby. He was unsuccessful, so he went down another street and stole another car.
In that vehicle, Welton hit and severely injured, a jogger, according to prosecutors. The spree ended after police arrested him when he pulled into a gas station and tried to take a bicycle from a man.
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On Oct. 13, Welton pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, attempted murder, three counts of aggravated assault, and robbery of a motor vehicle for the deadly incident, authorities said.
Prosecutors dropped a first-degree murder charge in exchange for the plea, but there was no sentencing agreement in place.
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The third-degree murder and attempted murder charges carry maximum sentences of 20 to 40 years in prison, officials said.
"He brought people’s worst fears of random acts of violence into real life through his actions," Assistant District Attorney Roderick McCord Fancher III told The Mercury. "Completely innocent people going about their day were seriously affected by him.”
The judge deferred Welton’s sentencing and The Philadelphia Inquirer said it will likely occur in the coming weeks.
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