Gosnell jury resumes work Monday

Prosecutors Edward Cameron and Joanne Pescatore leave the Criminal Justice Center on Friday. Jurors asked for details from the case.
Prosecutors Edward Cameron and Joanne Pescatore leave the Criminal Justice Center on Friday. Jurors asked for details from the case. (ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff Photographer)
Posted: May 05, 2013

A Philadelphia jury will resume work Monday after three full days of deliberations in the murder trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell.

The Common Pleas Court jury of seven women and five men continued to pepper Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart with questions Friday and seemed to have started looking at the charges against the West Philadelphia doctor.

The jurors have deliberated about 23 hours since getting the case Tuesday afternoon.

But until Friday, their questions and requests for evidence all involved codefendant Eileen O'Neill, an unlicensed doctor who worked in Gosnell's family practice in the clinic.

On Friday the jury asked for and received the police property receipt for all medicine and drugs taken from Gosnell's clinic in a Feb. 18, 2010, raid by a state-federal task force looking into trafficking in prescription narcotics.

The request could be significant because police found no Digoxin in the Women's Medical Society at 3801 Lancaster Ave.

Trial witnesses testified that Gosnell used the heart medication to kill fetuses in utero during late second-trimester abortions and Gosnell did at least two that night.

Prosecutors have argued that there was no Digoxin present because Gosnell had stopped using it, to save money. Instead, prosecutors allege, Gosnell gave patients heavy doses of Cytotec, a labor-inducing drug, so they would spontaneously abort. If the fetus was alive, Gosnell allegedly severed its spine.

The jurors also requested and got identifying details to help them differentiate four babies - known thus far as Babies A, C, D and E - allegedly killed by Gosnell or staff after they were born in illegal late-term abortions.

And the jury also had the judge reinstruct it on racketeering and corrupt organizations.

Gosnell is charged with four counts of first-degree murder: babies allegedly born alive and killed.

A guilty verdict on any of the first-degree murder counts would result in a hearing where the jury would hear evidence to decide if Gosnell should be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.

Gosnell is charged with third-degree murder in the 2009 death of abortion patient Karnamaya Mongar, 41, of Virginia, who was allegedly overdosed on Demerol by an untrained staff.

Gosnell also faces 24 counts of performing abortions past Pennsylvania's 24-week gestational age, 227 courts of performing abortions without the mandated 24-hour waiting period and racketeering and corrupt organizations.

O'Neill, 56, of Phoenixville, is charged in six counts of theft by deception - posing as a licensed doctor - that form the basis of racketeering and conspiracy counts.


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

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|