Gosnell Trial News: Judge Grants Motion for Acquittal on 3 Homicide Charges

In the trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell Tuesday morning, Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart granted a motion for acquittal on three first degree homicide charges. (The prosecution’s case against Gosnell involves eight alleged homicides related to abortion services at the doctor’s West Philadelphia clinic, including seven newborn babies the prosecution claims Gosnell killed with surgical scissors.) Defense attorney Jack McMahon argued that the judge should dismiss virtually all charges against Gosnell, claiming the prosecution had not met its burden of proof to show that any of the babies were born alive. After a half-hour recess, Minehart agreed that the commonwealth failed to meet its burden on babies identified as Baby B, Baby C and Baby G. Those counts will not go to the jury. The judge also dismissed one of two counts of infanticide in relation to baby B, and acquitted Gosnell on counts related to abuse of a corpse. (Regarding the latter charge, McMahon argued there was no proof that any of the baby feet, recovered from specimen jars, belonged to babies born alive.)

Gosnell now faces four counts of first degree homicide and a third degree murder charge in relation to the death of one of his female patients, Karnamaya Mongar.

The jury will begin hearing defense testimony this afternoon.