Judge tosses three murder counts against Philadelphia abortion doctor

PHILADELPHIA — After hearing impassioned arguments from attorneys on both sides of the Kermit Gosnell capital murder trial Tuesday, a Philadelphia judge threw out three of the seven first-degree murder charges Gosnell faced for allegedly killing fetuses born alive at his abortion clinic.

Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart also tossed out all five counts against Gosnell accusing him of corpse abuse for storing the feet of aborted fetuses in plastic containers in his now closed Women’s Medical Society clinic.

Also dismissed by Minehart was one count of infanticide – the intentional killing of an infant. All other counts against Gosnell, 72, will be decided by the jury, the judge ruled.

In addition to counts of first-degree murder for killing four babies allegedly born alive, those charges include the third-degree murder of a patient who died of a drug overdose following a botched 2009 abortion and multiple counts of performing illegal, late-term abortions.

Minehart also dismissed six of the nine counts of theft by deception against Gosnell co-defendant Eileen O’Neill, whom prosecutors contend worked at the clinic as a doctor despite not having a medical license.

Minehart made his rulings following motion hearings that took place before the start of the defense attorneys starting their cases Tuesday afternoon.

Gosnell’s attorney, Jack McMahon, argued that all seven counts regarding the fetuses should be dismissed. None were born alive, he said, all having been injected with death-causing drugs during the abortion process. Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron argued that there had been enough testimony from former clinic employees that the seven babies were born alive to let the jury decide.

The prosecution rested last week. Gosnell could be sentenced to death if he is convicted of the first-degree murders of the babies.

More in Local News

Bicycle tour raises money for dialysis patients

Volunteers also shared health information and put together care packages for homeless women.

Elderly couple escape serious injuries in crash with train

The driver drove down tracks instead of a road, hitting a slow-moving train near Stanwood.

Boeing reaches out to schools

Company employees helped Everett students at recent reading and Manufacturing Day events.

5-vehicle collision sends school bus into ditch; no injuries

No students were hurt when a school bus crashed into… Continue reading

Fire crew returns early from wildfires in Northern California

Four Everett firefighters returned from battling California wildfires late Thursday… Continue reading

Theft lands former insurance salesman 50 days in jail

A former insurance salesman is expected to report to jail… Continue reading

Expect river levels to keep rising, though sun is on the way

Some could crest above minor and moderate flood levels.

Oregon senator punished over alleged inappropriate touching

Democratic Sen. Sara Gelser didn’t identify anyone by name.

Officials ID man shot and killed in apparent Everett robbery

Police believe the victim may have known the shooter, who drove away before the officers arrived.

Most Read