Gosnell trial delayed by attorney illness

Posted: April 02, 2013

The beginning of the third week of testimony in the murder trial of West Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell was canceled this morning because Gosnell's attorney, Jack McMahon, was ill.

According to court officials, McMahon developed a fever and symptoms of a cold or flu and was unable to come to court. Trial will resume on Tuesday.

The prosecution is still presenting evidence that Gosnell, 72, committed first degree murder in the killing of seven infants born live and viable during illegal late-term abortions.

He is also charged with third-degree murder in the Nov. 19, 2009 death of a Virginia woman, Karnamaya Mongar, 41, during an abortion procedure. Prosecutors allege that Mongar died because she was administered too much anesthesia by Gosnell's untrained staff and went into cardiac arrest.

McMahon has argued that none of the seven infants was born alive. He has maintained the Mongar - a Bhutan immigrant who spoke no English - did not tell Gosnell of respiratory problems that might have made her vulnerable to anesthesia.

Also on trial is Eileen O'Neill, 56, of Phoenixville, a medical school graduate who worked as a doctor at Gosnell's clinic though she did not have a medical license.

O'Neill is not charged with performing abortions but with participating in the operation of a "corrupt organization" - Gosnell's Women's Medical Society clinic at 3801 Lancaster Ave.


Contact Joseph A. Slobodzian at 215-854-2985, jslobodzian@phillynews.com, or @joeslobo on Twitter.

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