Philadelphia abortion doctor case goes to jury - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Philadelphia abortion doctor case goes to jury

Posted: Updated:
Kermit Gosnell Kermit Gosnell

Philadelphia (CNN) -- Jurors on Tuesday began deliberations in the murder trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell.

Gosnell, 72, is accused of killing babies by using scissors to cut their spinal cords. Authorities allege that some of the infants were born alive and viable during the sixth, seventh and eighth months of pregnancy.

Gosnell originally faced first-degree murder charges in the deaths of seven babies and a count of third-degree murder in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, 41. Mongar died of an anesthetic overdose during a second-trimester abortion.

Judge Jeffrey Minehart threw out three of the seven first-degree murder charges last week.

Gosnell also is charged with conspiracy, abortion at 24 or more weeks of pregnancy, theft, corruption of minors, solicitation and other related offenses. He has pleaded not guilty.

On Monday, defense attorney Jack McMahon gave an impassioned, 2½-hour closing argument disputing the prosecution's evidence, claiming that none of the infants was killed; rather, he said, they were already dead as a result of Gosnell administering the drug Digoxin, which can cause abortion.

McMahon, stalking the jury box, accused prosecutors of "the most extraordinary hype and exaggeration in the history of the criminal justice system," even adding that they are "elitist" and "racist."

Gosnell, who is African-American, has been accused by authorities of preying on low-income, minority women. McMahon argued that Gosnell offered access to health care for people who were poor and without health insurance.

On Tuesday, Minehart spent just over 90 minutes giving the jurors their instructions. Jurors appeared to listen intently; Gosnell took notes and attorneys watched the jury box.

After retiring for deliberations, the jury sent back questions regarding one of the names of a patient and wanted the definition again for "theft by deception."

The judge also tossed out all five abuse-of-corpse charges for storing the feet of aborted fetuses in plastic containers. Minehart dismissed one count of infanticide, the intentional killing of an infant.

Gosnell also is accused of reusing unsanitary instruments; performing procedures in filthy rooms, including some in which litter boxes and animals allegedly were present at the time; and allowing unlicensed employees -- including a teenage high school student -- to perform operations and administer anesthesia.

Nine others who worked in the west Philadelphia medical office, including Gosnell's wife and sister-in-law, also were charged. Eight have pleaded guilty.

Also on trial is co-defendant Eileen O'Neill, 56, who worked as a doctor at the Women's Medical Society. O'Neill, who is a medical school graduate, is charged with participating in the operation of a "corrupt organization" and "theft by deception" for operating without a license to practice medicine.

Meanwhile, a gag order remains in place preventing attorneys or the jury from speaking to the media.

If he is found guilty of first-degree murder, Gosnell, who is not a board-certified obstetrician or gynecologist, could be sentenced to death.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • U.S. Ebola patients to be discharged; 1 to speak out

    U.S. Ebola patients to be discharged; 1 to speak out

    Thursday, August 21 2014 8:48 AM EDT2014-08-21 12:48:09 GMT

    Two American aid workers treated for Ebola are scheduled to be released from an Atlanta hospital today. Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol were evacuated from Liberia earlier this month after becoming infected with the Ebola Virus.

    More >>

    Two American aid workers treated for Ebola are scheduled to be released from an Atlanta hospital today. Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol were evacuated from Liberia earlier this month after becoming infected with the Ebola Virus.

    More >>
  • Thursday Morning Weather: Mostly sunny, high near 97

    Thursday Morning Weather: Mostly sunny, high near 97

    East Texas (KYTX)- Good morning and happy Friday Eve! Low morning clouds will give way to a partly/mostly sunny day again. More >>
    East Texas (KYTX)- Good morning and happy Friday Eve! Low morning clouds will give way to a partly/mostly sunny day again. More >>
  • Officer Involved Shooting Suspect's Mom Speaks Out

    Officer Involved Shooting Suspect's Mom Speaks Out

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:13 PM EDT2014-08-21 03:13:22 GMT
    LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Hope Fountain says the shadow of recent events has covered up who her son really was."You'll never replace those hugs and those smiles. He would always be there for you no matter what." - Hope Fountain, Wagner's MotherGregg County Jail Records show that Wagner has a violent past but Fountain says he has regretted his crimes since the day they were committed. In 2013, Wagner plead guilty to terroristic threats of a public servant. Fountain says Wagner was going through a roug...More >>
    LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Hope Fountain says the shadow of recent events has covered up who her son really was."You'll never replace those hugs and those smiles. He would always be there for you no matter what." - Hope Fountain, Wagner's MotherGregg County Jail Records show that Wagner has a violent past but Fountain says he has regretted his crimes since the day they were committed. In 2013, Wagner plead guilty to terroristic threats of a public servant. Fountain says Wagner was going through a roug...More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.