A worker at Kermit Gosnell’s late-term abortion clinic will head to prison for just two and a half years and perhaps longer, as she participated in the “snipping” abortion procedures that were tantamount to infanticide.
During the Gosnell trial, Lynda Williams testified she saw a baby “jump” when she snipped her neck in an abortion. She testified that it was “standard procedure” to snip the necks of any babies that were delivered by patients before the abortion procedure due to labor-inducing drugs.
Williams said Gosnell taught her how to flip the body of the baby over and snip its neck with a pair of scissors and recalled one time when she followed these orders and saw the child move.
Earlier she testified, “I only do what I’m told to do … what I was told to do was snip their neck.”
Williams initially said she could not remember key details and had to be reminded by prosecutors showing her copies of her earlier statements to investigators. When Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore initially pressed Williams to describe what she saw when she cut the neck of the child, Williams responded with a blank stare and silence.
Williams also responded the same way when asked about seeing Gosnell cut the necks of babies who were delivered before abortion procedures, admitting after reviewing earlier statements that she had seen Gosnell do this at least 30 times.
Williams testified earlier that she had only gotten as far as eighth grade in school and never graduated. Before working for Gosnell at his Women’s Medical Society Clinic in West Philadelphia, Williams had worked for 10 years at the now-closed Atlantic Women’s Medical Services abortion clinic in Wilmington, where Gosnell worked part-time.
Williams said she was diagnosed as bipolar in 2007 after her husband was killed and left her job at Atlantic, where she sterilized instruments, shortly thereafter and went to work for Gosnell in November 2008.
On Saturday, Williams was sentenced in federal court yesterday to 2 1/2 years in prison for her role in the illegal “pill-mill” case. Gosnell also ran an illegal pill selling scheme at his abortion clinic and some of is staff were involved in it.
The Philadelphia newspaper has more:
Williams, 45, had collected money and accepted tips in return for handing out illegal prescriptions for addictive painkillers.
She pleaded guilty in July 2012 to distribution of controlled substances and conspiracy.
Williams, most recently of Wilmington, Del., faces another sentencing Wednesday in Common Pleas Court on the more macabre aspects of the operations in Gosnell’s former abortion clinic, the Women’s Medical Society.
Gosnell, 73, is the disgraced West Philly physician who ran the clinic where he regularly performed late-term abortions, where babies were routinely born alive then killed, and prescription drugs were illegally dispensed in pill-mill fashion.
He is serving three life sentences in state prison for the killing of babies. In December, he was sentenced in federal court to 30 years in the pill-mill case.
Williams, who was unlicensed, helped with abortions and gave patients anesthesia. She had pleaded guilty in November 2011 in the state case to two counts of third-degree murder – one involving the 2009 death of Karnamaya Mongar, 41, an abortion patient to whom Williams had administered anesthesia and the other involving the death of one of seven babies whose spinal cords were cut after having been born alive.
Her sentence in the state case is expected to be lengthier than the one handed down yesterday.
U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe said Williams’ federal sentence will run concurrent to her state sentence. And the judge said she would recommend that her federal sentence be served in a state correctional facility.