Kermit Gosnell trial: Jury returns, continues deliberations
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Philadelphia jury weighing charges against a Philadelphia abortion provider in the deaths of four babies allegedly born alive and a patient listened again Monday to the legal distinctions between first- and third-degree murder, manslaughter and infanticide.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, ran the Women's Medical Society in West Philadelphia, which served mostly low-income women and teens, and went years without a state inspection. Gosnell also faces hundreds of abortion-law violations, for allegedly performing third-trimester abortions and failing to counsel patients.
The jurors could return a verdict of first- or third-degree murder in the four infant deaths, and third-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 overdose death of a patient, Karnamaya Mongar of Woodbridge, Va., a 41-year-old mother of three and recent refugee to the U.S. who died after an abortion at Gosnell's clinic.
Co-defendant Eileen O'Neill, 56, of Phoenixville, a former employee of Gosnell's, is charged with billing as a doctor when she did not have a license.
Eight former employees have pleaded guilty since the 2011 indictment, and all but Gosnell's wife testified against him. Four others have pleaded guilty to murder charges for either "snipping" the babies with scissors after they were born, or helping sedate Mongar despite a lack of training.
The jury heard nearly two months of graphic testimony and arguments before deliberations began Tuesday afternoon. Jurors appear focused, but friendly with each other. They include several transit workers and a water department inspector.
Gosnell's lawyer argued that there were no live births at the clinic and blamed Mongar's death on unforeseen medical complications. O'Neill's lawyer said she worked under Gosnell's supervision.
Infanticide in this case applies to a doctor's treatment of a baby born alive during an abortion. That charge here applies to only one baby, born to a Delaware teen and estimated to be as old as 30 weeks gestation. Gosnell allegedly joked the baby was so big it could "walk to the bus."
Gosnell has been in custody since his 2011 arrest, while O'Neill remains free on bail.
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