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

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Shock from WSU suicide ripples through Snohomish County

Roughly 1 in 10 seniors, sophomores and 8th-graders said they had attempted to take their own lives.

Marysville hit-and-run leaves man with broken bones

The state patrol has appealed for help solving an increasing number of hit-and-runs in the state.

$1,000 reward for info on who killed an eagle near Snohomish

After being shot, the raptor was treated at the Sarvey Wildlife Center but died overnight.

Woman confronts man leaving house with stolen item

“He swung at her with a crowbar, missing her.”

Police seek suspect in Wells Fargo bank robbery

He was described as white, in his 30s, heavyset, with blonde hair and a maroon sweatshirt.

Possible bobcat sighting keeps Snohomish students inside

The creature was spotted on the campus of Valley View Middle School around noon.

Stabbing in Everett follows dispute between brothers-in-law

The victim, 54, was hospitalized. The suspect, 29, had not been apprehended Thursday.

New leaders coming to county, state political parties

Hillary Moralez of Bothell takes over as chair for the Snohomish County Democratic Party.

Most Read