Lawyer's illness halts Monday Gosnell trial session

Posted: April 03, 2013

Testimony is to resume Tuesday in the murder trial of West Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell after a day lost because of a lawyer's illness. Monday's trial session was canceled because Gosnell's lawyer, Jack McMahon, was ill with fever and symptoms of cold or flu.

The prosecution is entering the third week presenting evidence contending 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 2009 death of a Virginia woman during an abortion. Prosecutors allege that the woman was administered too much anesthesia by Gosnell's untrained staff.

McMahon has argued that none of the seven infants was born alive. He has maintained that the Virginia woman 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, an unlicensed medical school graduate who worked as a doctor at Gosnell's clinic. O'Neill is not charged with performing abortions but with participating in the operation of a "corrupt organization."

- Joseph A. Slobodzian

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