by Steven Ertelt
January 31, 2008
Laurel, MS (LifeNews.com) — Former Mississippi and Alabama abortion practitioner Malachy DeHenre has been found guilty by a grand jury of killing his wife. DeHenre, who has lost his medical license in three states over botched abortions, had pleaded not guilty to charges that he killed his wife, Dr. Mysha Rose DeHenre, 10 years ago.
However, a Jones County Circuit Court jury unanimously convicted DeHenre of manslaughter after deliberating for just 45 minutes.
According to the Laurel Leader Call newspaper, Circuit Judge Billy Joe Landrum asked for a pre-sentence investigation and set a sentencing date of March 13.
If given the maximum sentence, DeHenre could face 20 years in prison.
Six years ago a jury failed to convict DeHenre after a mistrial but the abortion practitioner was re-indicted on the charges when new evidence came to light, arrested last December and ordered held without bond.
A gunshot to the head while his wife was in the couple’s home resulted in her death.
DeHenre took the stand in his own defense on Wednesday and claimed, according to the paper, that his wife produced the gun after returning from a trip from their native Zimbabwe. After wrestling with the gun, DeHenre says it went off accidentally and resulted in her death.
However, during the testimony, AP reported that Dr. Michael Baden, a forensics pathologist, said he reviewed the autopsy and evidence in the case and confirmed Mysha DeHenre’s death was not accidental nor a suicide.
The discharge of that bullet was by another person, not by the deceased, he said.
Prosecutor Ronald Parrish called DeHenre "despicable" because of the shooting and the numerous botched abortions and accusations from women that he raped them before doing abortions.
He has committed innumerable crimes that he hasn’t been convicted for. Of course, we were only concerned about one today," he told the newspaper.
DeHenre has also been charged with raping a 21-year-old patient in March 1992.
DeHenre’s New Woman Medical Center abortion facility in Jackson closed in 2005 and he was required, in December 2005, to pay substantial damages to a woman who was injured in a failed abortion in 2003.
Circuit Judge Winston Kidd awarded Latosha Travis $500,000 in damages after the abortion center failed to respond to her lawsuit. DeHenre and the abortion business were defendants in the suit.
In March 2005, the Mississippi state medical board suspended his medical license over botched abortions.
The suspension came after he testified that he did not like performing some 35,000 abortions but did so because he needed the work.
During his testimony, DeHenre stated, "I found work in Jackson, and it happened to be an abortion clinic in which an obstetrician was needed. I needed money to pay expenses and education for my children. It was supposed to be temporary, but it turned out to be longer. I was in a position I didn’t want to be in, but I needed work."
I ask your forgiveness, he said at the time. "I don’t want to be an outcast. I want to be among the medical community."
Medical boards in Alabama and New York have also suspended his medical licenses in those states.
In one Alabama case, a woman died 18 hours after having an abortion. The women involved in three other cases had to have hysterectomies to stop massive hemorrhaging from uterine perforations, including Travis.
Travis, who was 20 years old at the time and living in Jackson, paid DeHenre $680 for the abortion, the lawsuit said. She had at least one child already and though she planned to have more children in the future, she was devastated to have the hysterectomy because of the failed abortion.
In the case involving a death, DeHenre admitted he should have met the patient at the hospital or relayed medical information to the doctor who treated her.