Jury Pa. abortion doctor guilty of killing 3 babies, acquitted in 4th death

Jury Pa. abortion doctor guilty of killing 3 babies, acquitted in 4th death

Jury Pa. abortion doctor guilty of killing 3 babies, acquitted in 4th death




Posted on May 13, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Updated Monday, May 13 at 3:28 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A Philadelphia doctor accused of performing illegal, late-term abortions in a filthy clinic has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies born alive but acquitted in the death of a fourth baby.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death of a patient.

Prosecutors say the 72-year-old Gosnell delivered babies alive and had their spines severed with scissors to kill them. They say the baby whose death he was cleared in let out a soft whimper before Gosnell cut its neck.

The defense had argued there were no live births at the clinic.

The grisly details of the case came out more than two years ago when authorities described finding bags and bottles of fetuses at the foul-smelling clinic and unsterile instruments that were reused.

Prosecutors seek the death penalty.

(ABC News) --  The jury in the murder case against controversial Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell has reached a verdict, according to ABC affiliate WPVI-TV.

In their 10th day of deliberations, the jurors had previously alerted the judge that they were deadlocked on two charges. They were then asked to try to reach a unanimous verdict.

Gosnell is charged with the deaths of four babies and one woman. He could face the death penalty if convicted of the most serious charges.

It was not clear which of the more than 200 counts in the case, which include racketeering, had deadlocked the jury.

Gosnell, 72, is accused of performing late-term abortions on four babies who were born alive, but were then allegedly killed by Gosnell. He is also accused of killing a female patient by giving her a lethal dose of sedatives and painkillers.

 For two months, the jury heard often grisly testimony, including from members of Gosnell's staff. Eight staffers have pleaded guilty to several crimes. Prosecutors said none of the staff were licensed nurses or doctors.

Gosnell ran the Women's Medical Society in West Philadelphia for decades until February 2010, when FBI agents raided his clinic looking for evidence of prescription drug dealing.

Instead they found, as reported in a nearly 300-page grand jury report released in 2011, a filthy, decrepit "house of horrors."

Blood was on the floor, the clinic reeked of urine and bags of fetal remains were stacked in freezers. The clinic was shut down and Gosnell's medical license was suspended after the raid.

Despite repeated complaints to state officials over the years -- as well as 46 lawsuits filed against Gosnell -- investigators said in the report that state regulators had conducted five inspections since the clinic had opened in 1979.

Gosnell's lawyer Jack McMahon maintains his client served his community and never killed a live, born baby.

The grand jury report, however, said there had been hundreds of "snippings," in which live babies were born and then killed.

"Gosnell had a simple solution for the unwanted babies he delivered. ... The way he ensured fetal demise was by sticking scissors into the back of the baby's neck and cutting the spinal cord. He called that 'snipping,'" the report alleged.

The report also said that many of the women patients were infected with sexually transmitted diseases from contaminated instruments, had suffered from botched procedures or had been given overdoses of dangerous drugs.

Click here for mor from ABC News.