Local/State

Defense rests in Dr. Kermit Gosnell trial; he did not testify

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The defense rested on Wednesday in the murder trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell.

Gosnell, 72, did not take the stand and the defense called no witnesses.

Defense lawyer Jack McMahon has done his work by challenging witnesses on cross-examination. The court is now in recess until Monday when closing arguments will be heard.

Gosnell is charged with killing four babies allegedly born alive at his clinic. He is also charged in the 2009 overdose death of a 41-year-old refugee who died months after coming to the U.S.

A string of former employees have testified that Gosnell relied on untrained, unlicensed staff to sedate and monitor women as they waited for abortions.

Earlier in the day, the judge corrected himself about which murder charges remain.

Judge Jeffrey Minehart dismissed first-degree murder charges Tuesday involving three of seven babies aborted at Gosnell's clinic.

On Wednesday, he said he had mistakenly dismissed charges related to a baby that clinic worker Lynda Williams admits killing after it was alive for 20 minutes. That baby has been called "Baby C."

Instead, Minehart is tossing charges involving "Baby F," which allegedly jerked its leg after it was born. Another staff member says Gosnell then cut the baby's neck to "ensure fetal demise."

Minehart now says there is not enough evidence to send that murder charge to a jury.

Eight other former co-workers, including Gosnell's wife Pearl, have pleaded guilty to charges ranging from third-degree murder to racketeering to performing illegal, late-term abortions.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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abortion, trial, pennsylvania, local/state
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