Gosnell had hypnotic 'Svengali control' over staff: Defense attorney
PHILADELPHIA, May 28, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Kermit Gosnell exercised a hypnotic, “Svengali control” over his employees, according to defense attorney Michael Wallace.
Wallace represents one of three women to be sentenced in Philadelphia tomorrow for their role in killing newborn babies, overdosing an abortion patient, or other abortion-related offenses.
Prosecutors are expected to ask for mercy for Sherry West, Lynda Williams, and Adrienne Moton, former workers at the Women's Medical Society who struck a plea bargain and testified against Gosnell in return for lighter sentences.
Lynda Williams said Gosnell had been treating her for bipolar disorder and other mental health issues before she went to work for him. She previously worked in his abortion facility in Wilmington, Delaware – a business Pennsylvania authorities are urging be investigated. In 2007, after her husband's murder, she worked in the Philadelphia office.
Sherry West also began working for Gosnell in 2007 after having a nervous breakdown.
Moton, meanwhile, had undergone two abortions at Gosnell's facility.
“Mental illness plagued Gosnell employees,” said Cheryl Sullenger, who attended the Gosnell trial on behalf of Operation Rescue. “Another clinic worker, Elizabeth Hampton, previously testified she suffered from depression and anxiety.”
Williams, who has only a ninth grade education, says she did not know the procedure Gosnell taught her to perform – snipping babies' spinal columns with scissors after delivery – was murder.
She admitted to killing two newborns as Gosnell taught her, as well as being present when Mongar died. She entered a guilty plea to two counts of third-degree murder in 2011, as well as other charges.
Without the plea bargain – like Gosnell – she may have faced the death penalty.
Each of the three could face more than 100 years in prison for the crimes they have admitted. But Wallace said he hopes his client's testimony, pivotal to exposing Gosnell's gruesome practices, means West will receive probation.
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Sherry West testified that one baby Gosnell “aborted” was born alive and began “screeching, making this noise” that “sounded like a little alien.” It “really freaked me out.”
West testified that Gosnell asked the unqualified employee who administered the fatal dose of medication to 41-year-old immigrant Karnamaya Mongar to lie and say that Gosnell was responsible for the death, and that he regularly changed medical records.
West told prosecutors that she was trained by Gosnell to administer medication and insert IVs by other employees, including teenagers. She could not pronounce the name of a that medication she administered.
The remaining defendants played an important role in convicting Gosnell on three first-degree murder charges.
Moton's testimony helped convict Gosnell in the case of “Baby A,” after she testified that the doctor joked the baby was so big it could “walk me to the bus stop.” It was Moton who took a photograph of “Baby A” on her cell phone after assisting in its “demise.”
Moton, who confessed to killing 10 babies using Gosnell's method, also testified that “Baby D” was born alive in a toilet and struggled to swim away, testimony confirmed by former employee Kareema Cross.
The jurors also found Gosnell's assistant Eileen O'Neill guilty of presenting herself – and billing patients – as though she were a physician. The Gosnell jury convicted her of conspiracy, participation in a corrupt organization, and two counts of theft by deception. She has remained under house arrest pending sentencing.
Wednesday's sentencings underscore the peril of working at an abortion facility in any capacity, a danger pro-life ministries have sought to drive home.
Operation Rescue has mailed a postcard to abortion offices telling lower level workers like West and company, “Don't go to jail for something your employer is doing or told you to do!”
Mark Crutcher, of Life Dynamics, who is presently involved in a similar case involving the former employees of Texas late-term abortionist Dr. Douglas Karpen, said employees in the abortion industry “are starting to panic.”
“I know you're going to see more and more of these people coming forward and...say, 'I'm not interested in going to prison.'”