Gosnell Co-Defendant Gets New Trial

Eileen O'Neill was convicted on fraud and conspiracy charges.

Eileen O’Neill, who was a co-defendant to Kermit Gosnell when he stood trial for killing three infants born alive at his West Philadelphia abortion clinic, has been granted a new trial.

Though O’Neill was tried with Gosnell, she was convicted on theft and conspiracy charges related to her work with and billing of patients at the clinic. She was not implicated in the deaths that sent Gosnell to prison for three life sentences.

“Prosecutors said O’Neill pretended to be a licensed physician at Dr. Gosnell’s West Philadelphia clinic, the Women’s Medical Society, when in fact she was unlicensed. She did, however, have a medical degree,” NBC 10 said at the time of her conviction. “The Commonwealth also argued O’Neill lied to insurance companies and patients and billed for services she was not allowed to perform. Her attorney argued there was no evidence O’Neill charged for her services.”

On appeal, her attorney said it was unfair that she be tried on such charges alongside Gosnell.

“An appeals court says the disturbing evidence about babies being killed at Gosnell’s clinic unfairly prejudiced co-defendant Eileen O’Neill,” AP says today. “The Pennsylvania Superior Court says O’Neill should have been granted a separate trial.”

She has been serving a 6- to 23-month sentence at home on parole. Prosecutors have not yet decided whether to re-try her.