Kareem Welton, 43, has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and several other charges related to a violent, drug-fueled joyride that spanned across two counties in 2021. The incident resulted in the death of a Philadelphia steakhouse chef and injuries to multiple individuals.
In a recent appearance in Montgomery County Court, Welton admitted to the charges of attempted murder, three counts of aggravated assault, and robbery of a motor vehicle. The spree began in Philadelphia’s Center City and concluded 30 miles away in Montgomery County. In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors dropped a first-degree murder charge against Welton. The plea agreement did not include any pre-defined sentencing terms.
Authorities detailed the events leading up to the arrest, stating that in July 2021, Welton had stolen a running car. He later stole a 5-year-old poodle from a family friend’s residence. During his escapade, he hit two motorcyclists and killed 31-year-old Adriana Moreno-Sanchez, who was returning home from her work at a restaurant. According to the affidavit, Welton’s car initially struck Moreno-Sanchez, then he deliberately circled back to hit her a second time. Afterward, he briefly stopped to rob her of her jacket. Moreno-Sanchez later succumbed to her injuries in a hospital.
Continuing his rampage, Welton collided with more vehicles and pedestrians before abandoning the first car. He subsequently attempted to carjack another woman, and upon failing, stole a different car. As he fled the city, he struck a bicyclist. Authorities finally caught up with him in Collegeville, where during a chase, he purposefully veered into oncoming traffic, critically injuring a jogger. Welton’s arrest occurred after he tried to steal a bicycle from a man at a Trappe gas station.
A post-arrest toxicology report revealed the presence of marijuana and PCP, a potent hallucinogen, in Welton’s system during the string of assaults.
Both the third-degree murder and attempted murder charges carry potential prison sentences of 20 to 40 years. Assistant District Attorney Roderick McCord Fancher III expressed intentions to seek a significant prison term that encompasses consecutive sentences, ensuring each victim’s suffering is acknowledged.
Commenting on the case, Fancher remarked, “He brought people’s worst fears of random acts of violence into real life through his actions. Completely innocent people going about their day were seriously affected by him.” Montgomery County authorities have chosen to prosecute all charges, including those from the fatal incident in Philadelphia, under state law.