Philadelphia Steakhouse Chef Death: Man Pleads Guilty To Third-Degree Murder

A man has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in the killing of a Philadelphia steakhouse chef, whom authorities say he willfully killed during a drug-fueled hit-and-run spree that caused injuries and property damage in two counties.

Philadelphia Steakhouse Chef Death: Man Pleads Guilty To Third-Degree Murder

Kareem Welton, 43, pled guilty Friday in Montgomery County Court to attempted murder, three counts of aggravated assault, and robbery of a motor vehicle in the violent predawn 2021 joyride that began in Philadelphia’s Centre City and ended 30 miles distant in neighbouring Montgomery County.

Prosecutors dropped a first-degree murder charge in return for the plea, which does not involve a sentence deal.

In July 2021, Welton allegedly took a car left running by a woman, then proceeded to a family friend’s house and stole a 5-year-old poodle, hit two persons on a motorbike and finally struck and murdered 31-year-old Adriana Moreno-Sanchez as she walked home from her restaurant shift. According to an affidavit of probable cause, the car jumped the curb and struck Moreno-Sanchez, then performed a U-turn and hit her again on the sidewalk. Welton allegedly pulled over at that point to steal a jacket from the injured victim, who later died in a hospital.

According to authorities, Welton drove away, colliding with more automobiles and persons before abandoning the vehicle. He allegedly tried unsuccessfully to remove another woman from a vehicle before taking another car blocks away and fleeing the city, colliding with a bicyclist on the way. He was eventually apprehended in Collegeville, and authorities believe that during the following chase, he purposefully drove into oncoming traffic, striking and gravely injuring a jogger. Authorities said he was caught after pulling into a Trappe petrol station and attempting to steal a bicycle from a man standing nearby.

Authorities said a toxicology test later revealed that Welton had marijuana and PCP, a potent hallucinogenic, in his system at the time of the assaults.

Both 3rd-degree murder and attempted murder have maximum jail penalties of 20 to 40 years. Assistant District Attorney Roderick McCord Fancher III told The (Pottstown) Mercury that he will seek lengthy jail time, including consecutive terms, and that he would seek a sentence “that accounts for each and every victim of this rampage.”

“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,” Fancher said. Montgomery County authorities pursued all charges, including the fatal hit-and-run in Philadelphia, under state law.

A message seeking comment was sent to Welton’s associate public defender on Saturday.

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