PHILADELPHIA, April 24, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Judge Jeffrey Minehart has reinstated one murder charge and dismissed another in Kermit Gosnell's capital murder trial.
Yesterday, he threw out murder charges for “Baby B,” “Baby C,” and “Baby G,” after the defense argued that there was insufficient evidence to prove the babies were born alive.
This morning, the judge reinstated the murder charge of “Baby C,” the newborn that former Gosnell employee Lynda Williams testified that she killed 20 minutes after its birth. It had been placed in a shoebox and shown signs of life the entire time.
The judge said dismissing that charge had been a mistake.
Instead, Judge Minehart said he intended to throw out the charges relating to Baby F, whose only observed movement was a twitching leg.
He did not elaborate beyond the correction.
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The grand jury report describes the death of Baby C this way: “Gosnell had delivered the baby and put it on a counter while he suctioned the placenta from the mother. [Linda] Williams called [Gosnell employee Kareema] Cross over to look at the baby because it was breathing and moving its arms when Williams pulled on them. After playing with the baby, Williams slit its neck.”
When asked why Williams killed the baby, Cross told the grand jury: “Because the baby, I guess, because the baby was moving and breathing. And she see Dr. Gosnell do it so many times, I guess she felt, you know, she can do it. It’s okay.”
Gosnell's defense attorney, Jack McMahon, has maintained the movements employees observed were involuntary spasms that take place after death. During proceedings yesterday, he said it was “ludicrous” to “say a baby is born alive, because it moves one time without any other movement. This wasn’t a baby moving!”
He stated that Gosnell had injected the babies with a drug before they were born and cut their necks only to “ensure fetal demise.”
Chief Medical Examiner Sam Gulino testified he was not able to ascertain from fetal remains whether the babies whose spinal columns Gosnell “snipped” were alive at the time of the incision.
However, numerous eyewitnesses have testified that Gosnell regularly performed the grisly procedure after live births. His onetime assistant Tina Baldwin said she had seen Gosnell cut newborns' necks “hundreds” of times.
She added that one baby writhed in pain so furiously that the doctor joked, “That’s what you call a chicken with its head cut off.”
Sherry West, testified she saw an 18-to-24-inch baby who had been “aborted,” lying in a clear glass pan, “screeching [and] making this noise” that “sounded like a little alien.”
One baby was born alive in a toilet, struggling to swim out, Kareema Cross said.
The judge dismissed nine charges against Gosnell when the trial resumed yesterday morning. In addition to the three murder charges, he tossed one count of infanticide and five charges of abusing a corpse. The latter charges were related to his keeping the severed feet of babies he had aborted in jars in his clinic.
He upheld third-degree murder charges in the death of Karnamaya Mongar, a 41-year-old immigrant from Bhutan who died after an untrained aide administered anesthetic. Gosnell's defense had petitioned unsuccessfully for its dismissal.
“She wasn't treated any differently than any of the other thousands of other people who went through there,” McMahon said.