Gosnell Pleads Not Guilty to Drug Operation at Abortion Biz
by Steven Ertelt | Philadelphia, PA | LifeNews.com | 1/24/12 1:00 PM
Embattled abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell made a brief court appearance yesterday and entered a plea of not guilty to charges that he operated an illegal pill selling scheme out of his dilapidated abortion business.
Gosnell faces seven murder charges for the deaths of one patient in a botched abortion and killings of six infants who were purposefully born alive and then killed in an abortion-infanticide procedure that saw Gosnell and his staff “snip” their spinal cords with medical scissors. Gosnell reportedly killed hundreds of infant babies using the grisly abortion technique.
Nine of his unlicensed and unqualified employees were charged with him various charges from murder to participating in a corrupt organization. Since then six have pled guilty — three to murder charges — to avoid being tried with Gosnell.
Gosnell also faces charges accusing him of illegally distributing prescription drugs from between 2008 and January, 2010 at his abortion business. The drug charges were added to Gosnell’s long list of abortion-related charges last month.
Authorities raided the medical offices of Kermit Gosnell in January, 2010, on suspicion that he was operating a pill mill that was the largest source of illegal painkillers sold on the streets of Philadelphia.That was when they discovered a squalid “house of horrors” where illegal late-term abortions were done on drugged, dazed women, where the late-term babies were born alive then murdered by severing their spinal cords with scissors, and where the severed feet of those late-term babies were kept in jars as trophies.
Gosnell is expected to be tried on the abortion-infant murder charges in March, 2013. He could face the death penalty if convicted and Gosnell faces a mandatory minimum 20 years. Attorneys for both sides of the abortion and drug cases have been placed under a gag order.
But Troy Newman, the President of Operation Rescue and the new Pro-Life Nation and who has been closely following and exposing some of the abuses in the Gosnell cases, commented.
“We are thankful for the aggressive prosecution of Gosnell for all his crimes. The courage of the District Attorney’s office is commendable and has led to many reforms nationwide that have resulted in dangerous abortion clinics closing and new laws that will make women and their pre-born babies a little safer,” he said. “We look forward to Gosnell’s day in court where we pray his victims will receive the justice they deserve under the law.”
According to the indictment, Gosnell distributed hundreds of thousands of oxycodone and alprazolam pills and 19,000 bottles of cough syrup containing codeine during the time period under which he has been investigated.
In December, Gosnell’s wife Pearl pleaded guilty to assisting her husband at his Philadelphia abortion center where he killed a woman in a botched abortion and kills hundreds of babies in abortion-infanticides.
Pearl Gosnell was considering a plea deal similar to the one several of Gosnell’s former abortion center employees have made where they have pleaded guilty to receive a lesser sentence in exchange for testifying against Gosnell. Pearl also worked at the abortion center Gosnell ran that had him kill and injure women in failed abortions and kill perhaps hundreds of babies in grisly infanticides by birthing them and “snipping” their spinal cords.
She worked at the Women’s Medical Society abortion business her husband ran as a full-time medical assistant from 1982 until she married Kermit Gosnell in 1990, when she switched to only working on Sundays. At that time, the abortion business was officially closed but would do its latest-term abortions possible.
The grand jury report indicates Pearl Gosnell testified that she alone helped Kermit do abortions on Sundays whe she would “help do the instruments” in the operating room despite no medical training.
Pearl Gosnell is slated to be sentenced on February 15.
In November, F. Michael Medway, her attorney, told Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner, in consultation with the district attorney’s office, about the possible plea. Pearl’s legal situation is different from those of the other former employees because she is the spouse of the main defendant and, under law, spouses can’t be forced to testify against their husband or wife in criminal or civil court proceedings.
Previously, Judge Lerner ruled two other former employees, Eileen O’Neill and Madeline Joe, are not allowed to have their cases separated from that of Dr. Kermit Gosnell. Neither O’Neill nor Joe are charged with killing babies in infanticides and, although their attorneys argued the horrifying allegations against Gosnell could unfairly taint their cases, they were not allowed to plea guilty in deals as was the case with six other former employees.
Recently, a sixth former employee at the abortion business run by embattled abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell has pleaded guilty. The latest guilty plea came from Tina Baldwin, 46, who also pleaded guilty to having her 15-year-old daughter work at his abortion facility.
The grand jury released a 261-page report which said the 69-year-old abortion practitioner and his staff killed hundreds of babies in this manner and killed at least two women and injured many more in failed abortions. Gosnell became known in Philadelphia and the Atlantic region as the guy women should go to if they wanted a late-term abortion illegal in most states.
Baldwin, according to the Philadelphia Daily News, pleaded guilty to participating in a corrupt organization, conspiracy and corruption of a minor. The plea will result in reduced sentencing because she will cooperate with prosecutors by testifying against Gosnell on the eight murder charges he faces. Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner accepted the plea and deferred sentencing to after the Gosnell trial.
Baldwin, as was the case with other employees who pleaded guilty, assisted with abortions despite having no formal medical training and she faced corruption charges because she got a job for her daughter Ashley, who was helping her mother by giving sedatives to the women getting abortions.
Previously, in a court hearing, 43-year-old Lynda Williams, a former Gosnell staffer, told Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner she understood what she was doing by entering a guilty plea in connection with charges against her. Williams was an unlicensed abortion facility worker at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society and she plead guilty to two counts of third-degree murder and four related crimes.
The Philadelphia Daily News reports that, in exchange for the guilty plea and cooperation with authorities in their case against Gosnell, Williams would be allowed to serve her state and federal sentences concurrently.
The murder charges came in connection with the botched abortion death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar, who died at Gosnell’s abortion clinic after a failed abortion. Williams also pleaded guilty in connection with one of the babies killed in the infanticides that invovled purposeful live birth so Gosnell could “snip” their spinal cords with medical scissors.
The grand jury report, according to the Daily News, indicates Williams was hired full time by Gosnell ni 2008 to clean instruments but she was soon “anesthetizing abortion patients, performing ultrasounds . . . and dealing with babies born alive while he was not at the clinic.” “It was Williams who actually administered the lethal mixes of Demerol, promethazine and diazepam that killed” Mongar.
“I don’t know if I can do another year,” she told the judge, saying she was struck about how long she would face in prison without cooperating.
Judge Lerner set December sentencing dates for Williams and the four other Gosnell staffers who plead guilty and a sixth Gosnell employee, Tina Baldwin, is expected to plead guilty on Monday. Gosnell, his wife Pearl, and four other defendants are likely to go to trial.
Previously, staffer Steven Massof, who was charged with conspiracy and other charges and was an unlicensed medical school graduate performing medical work at Gosnell’s abortion business, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree murder and other charges. An AP report indicates the murder counts could bring him a mandatory life term, but the judge in the case could suspend or reduce the sentence if he cooperates with authorities prosecuting Gosnell and other staffers. Massof is charged in connection with the deaths of two of the babies born alive and killed in abortion-infanticides.
Before that, Adrienne Moton, 34, and Sherry West, 52, pleaded guilty for contributing to the deaths as they worked at the abortion facility that had not been inspected by state officials in decades. Moton faces charges of murder, conspiracy, racketeering and corruption related to the death of at least one viable unborn child killed at Gosnell’s facility. She was unlicensed by the state and illegally administered anesthesia to women obtaining abortions. West also faces charges of third-degree murder in the botched abortion death of Mongar.
Moton and West each pleaded guilty to related charges, including taking part in a corrupt organization. West also pleaded guilty to drug delivery causing death.
Mongar died November 20, 2009, after overdosing on anesthetics prescribed by the doctor. Mongar’s family filed a lawsuit against Gosnell’s abortion business seeking damages.
Defense lawyer Michael Wallace said after the hearing, according to an AP report, that West may have administered the fatal dosage of anesthesia that killed Mongar, although he tried to mitigate her death by saying West stayed with her on the way to the hospital following the botched abortion.
“She’s very sorry about the death of that young lady,” Wallace said. “She got caught up in a series of things that probably she did not realize the significance of.”
West (picture at left), who reportedly exposed patients at Gosnell’s clinic to hepatitis C, has been in custody on $2 million bail since her arrest in January and Wallace said she would cooperate with authorities — maybe even testifying against Gosnell.
“She knows she will do time,” Wallace said of the possible 140 years in prison she may receive, which could be reduced if she cooperates.
A third staffer, 53-year-old Elizabeth Hampton, Gosnell’s sister-in-law, pleaded guilty to perjury on October 13 and will be sentenced on December 2.
Gosnell has been charged with eight counts of murder and several of his staff at the abortion center, including his wife and sister-in-law, have been charged as well in the case with assisting in botched abortions, practicing medicine without a license or covering up the actions of those who did. The counts include grisly infanticidesthat involved Gosnell snipping the spines with scissors of babies who had purposefully been prematurely born so they could be killed moments later.
Gosnell and several staffers at his abortion center, including his wife Pearl, were arrested in January after a grand jury indicted them on multiple charges after officials raided his abortion business following a woman’s death and discovered a “shop of horrors” filled with bags of bodies and body parts of deceased unborn children and babies killed in infanticides. Pearl Gosnell, Kermit’s 49-year-old wife who has no medical license, faces a charge of providing an abortion at 24 or more weeks and conspiracy and other charges.
Authorities searching the facility last year found bags and bottles holding aborted babies scattered around the building, jars containing babies’ severed feet lining a shelf, as well as filthy, unsanitary furniture and equipment.
While the trial moves forward, a pro-life group and state lawmakers are pressing for legislation the state House needs to pass that responds to the grisly abortions and infanticides at Gosnell’s facility. Gosnell’s abortion center was inspected only after a federal drug raid in 2010. It was the first time the facility had been inspected in 17 years because state officials ignored complaints and failed to visit Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society for years.
The abortion industry has been forced to suspend two abortion businesses that employed embattled abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell, who has been the subject of national controversy over his abortion business in Philadelphia.
Following revelations that Gosnell is associatedwith two other abortion centers in Louisiana and Delaware, the National Abortion Federation made the decision to suspend the memberships of both. Atlantic Women’s Medical Services, the Delaware abortion business that employed Gosnell one day a week to do abortions, and the Delta Clinic abortion center of Baton Rouge, have both had their memberships suspended. Leroy Brinkley owns both abortion businesses. Atlantic operates abortion centers in Wilmington and Dover.