Man pleas guilty to drug-fueled crime spree that included murder

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Kareem Welton, a 43-year-old man, has confessed to committing third-degree murder of a Philadelphia chef during a chaotic spree that spanned two counties. This admission came after prosecutors opted to drop a first-degree murder charge in exchange for Welton’s plea. However, there was no consensus regarding the sentencing.

Welton’s rampage commenced in Philadelphia’s Center City and concluded 30 miles further in Montgomery County. In July 2021, he is believed to have stolen a car, taken a 5-year-old poodle from a family acquaintance, and then caused a series of vehicular accidents. Among the victims was 31-year-old Adriana Moreno-Sanchez, a restaurant chef who was hit twice by Welton’s car as she was walking home after her shift. After hitting her the second time, Welton allegedly took a jacket from the grievously injured Moreno-Sanchez, who later succumbed to her injuries in a hospital.

Following this, Welton continued his reckless driving, hitting several other vehicles and pedestrians. His spree included another car theft attempt and eventually culminated in Collegeville. Here, during a police chase, he allegedly swerved deliberately into a jogger, critically wounding them. The chase concluded at a Trappe gas station where he attempted to steal a bicycle.

Post-arrest, tests revealed the presence of marijuana and PCP, a potent hallucinogenic, in Welton’s system during the time of these events. Given the gravity of his crimes, including third-degree murder and attempted murder, he could potentially face a prison sentence ranging from 20 to 40 years. Assistant District Attorney Roderick McCord Fancher III expressed his intent to push for a stringent sentence, acknowledging the gravity of Welton’s actions and the numerous lives he affected.

The prosecution of all the charges, even those committed outside Montgomery County, is being managed by the county’s authorities, invoking a state provision.