PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A West Philadelphia doctor charged with running an abortion clinic, in which one patient and seven infants were allegedly murdered, was ordered by a judge on Friday to explain why he and his wife have yet to retain a lawyer.

Appearing in a rumpled green dress shirt and jeans, Dr. Kermit Gosnell told Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes that he was ‘close to destitute’ and neither he nor his wife, Pearl, could afford private lawyers.

Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore told the judge that the Gosnells, either individually or jointly, own at least seven or eight properties, including income producing apartments. “It’s clear that everything that we heard in court and all of the documents that were produced that he has excessive assets,” Pescatore said.

Prosecutor Christine Wechsler also points to a shore home, “The property in Brigantine alone is valued, on paper, at $984,000.”

Dr. Gosnell is being held without bail and his wife is being held, after failing to post $1 million bail. Gosnell told the judge his first priority was bailing his wife out. Judge Hughes cut him off and told Gosnell his first priority was hiring a lawyer capable of handling a potential capital murder case.

They also face a hearing next week on a motion by the District Attorney’s office to bypass a preliminary hearing, and go directly to trial.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio

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