Jurors in Gosnell Abortion-Murder Trial Focus First on Aide at Clinic
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By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The jury in the sometimes grisly murder trial of West Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell continued its deliberations today, focusing primarily on a co-defendant charged with portraying herself as a doctor although she wasn’t one.
Jurors have reviewed a courtroom transcript of the testimony of a 2009 patient of defendant Eileen O’Neill, who is charged with six counts of theft by deception.
The patient had testified that O’Neill never called herself a doctor but wore a white coat, leading the patient to draw the wrong conclusion.
O’Neill’s defense lawyer says his client always worked under Gosnell’s close supervision.
If the jury ultimately ties at least two of the counts together, O’Neill could also be convicted of racketeering, a more serious crime.
Meantime, the jury has apparently not yet begun to address the more than 250 counts against Gosnell himself, who is charged with four counts of first-degree murder of newborns and one count of third-degree murder after a woman died following an abortion he had performed.
Gosnell could face the death penalty if convicted of murder.
More than 60 witnesses testified during the six-week trial, although Gosnell’s defense team called no witnesses of their own and Gosnell himself did not testify.
The jury received the case Tuesday afternoon for a few hours, then deliberated all day Wednesday. They are expected to deliberate on Thursday and Friday, then take the weekend off.
Stay tuned to KYW Newsradio 1060 and CBS Philly for updates on this trial and the jury’s verdict as soon as it is announced.