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Philadelphia jury returns for deliberations in Gosnell murder trial

gosnell_file_photo.jpg

March 8, 2010: In this file photo, Dr. Kermit Gosnell is seen during an interview with the Philadelphia Daily News at his attorney's office in Philadelphia. Gosnell, an abortion provider charged with killing a patient and four babies, trial is scheduled to begin closing arguments Monday, April 29, 2013.AP/Philadelphia Daily News

A Philadelphia jury is scheduled to start a fourth full day of deliberations in the case of a Philadelphia abortion provider charged with multiple counts of murder.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, is charged with killing four babies allegedly born alive at his clinic in West Philadelphia. He also is charged in the 2009 overdose death of a patient, Karnamaya Mongar of Woodbridge, Va., a 41-year-old mother of three.

The clinic served mostly low-income women and teens, and went years without a state inspection. Gosnell also faces hundreds of abortion-law violations, for allegedly performing third-trimester abortions and failing to counsel patients.

Co-defendant Eileen O'Neill, meanwhile, is charged with billing as a doctor when she did not have a license. O'Neill, 56, of Phoenixville, is free on bail.

Eight people who worked for Gosnell at the clinic have pleaded guilty since the 2011 indictment, and all but Gosnell's wife testified against him. Four others have pleaded guilty to murder charges for either "snipping" the babies with scissors after they were born, or helping sedate Mongar despite a lack of training.

The jury, scheduled to return Monday morning, has sat through nearly two months of graphic testimony and arguments. The seven women and five men were selected after assuring Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart that they could be fair despite the difficult subject matter.

The jurors include people who work for the city water department and regional transit authority, and appear to range in age from their 20s to 60s.

Gosnell's lawyer insists there were no live births at the clinic, and blames Mongar's death on unforeseen medical complications. O'Neill's lawyer has argued that she worked under Gosnell's supervision.

Gosnell has been in custody since the 2011 grand jury report that led to the charges.

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