Published May 12, 2013
Jurors will return Monday to deliberate on the charges that Philadelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell killed a patient and four babies that prosecutors allege were born alive.
Gosnell, 72, ran the Women’s Medical Society clinic in West Philadelphia for 30 years until the FBI shut down the facility in a raid in 2010.
Gosnell faces a third-degree murder charge in the death of patient Karnamaya Mongar. He is also charged with four counts of first-degree murder for infants who were allegedly born alive and were killed by suffering severed spinal cords at Gosnell’s hands. Several clinic employees have pleaded guilty to murder charges.
Prosecutors allege Gosnell’s untrained, unlicensed staff gave Mongar a fatal combination of oral and intravenous drugs on Nov. 19, 2009, and failed to properly monitor her vital signs during the second-term procedure. Mongar went into cardiac arrest, lapsed into a coma and died the following day. Gosnell’s attorney, Jack McMahon, has countered that Mongar, who was 19 weeks pregnant at the time, had unreported respiratory damage and died of complications.
Gosnell, who faces a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Mongar’s relatives, is also charged with violating Pennsylvania’s abortion law for allegedly performing abortions after 24 weeks. Some observers have said the trial highlights the difficulty to get an abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, or the end of the second trimester. A clinic near Mongar’s home in Woodbridge, Va., reportedly did not perform abortions after 14 weeks.
The only co-defendant, unlicensed doctor Eileen O'Neill, is charged with racketeering and working without a license. Her lawyer says she worked under Gosnell's supervision.
Jurors have heard nearly two months of graphic testimony and will begin their 10th day of deliberations Monday.
The jury is weighing about 260 counts, including the five murder counts.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.