The defense of a Philadelphia abortion provider charged in the deaths of seven babies allegedly born alive and the overdose death of a patient got underway on Tuesday.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, was facing eight counts of murder for what allegedly happened at his “house of horrors.” That number is now down to five.
After the prosecution made its case over five weeks, Gosnell’s lawyer, Jack McMahon, began his client’s defense by asking that some of the murder charges be dismissed for lack of evidence.
The judge in the case apparently decided that prosecutors had failed to provide evidence that three of the deceased babies were born alive and then killed. Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart did not explain why he only partially granted the defense's motion to acquit Gosnell, according to Fox News.
If convicted of first-degree murder in the other four baby deaths, Gosnell is still facing the death penalty. The judge upheld a murder charge in the overdose death as well.
In order to convince the judge, McMahon poked holes in the prosecution’s case.
"The prosecution has to show malice, the fact that Dr. Gosnell acted with intentional disregard for the safety of the mother and treated them differently than he did with the others," McMahon said. "The prosecution has failed to do that."
McMahon also brought up Pennsylvania’s 24-Week Law.
“Yes, Dr. Gosnell did abortions past the 24-week limit, but not one of those who he’s accused of harming were past 24 weeks.”
Character witnesses for Gosnell's co-defendant, Eileen O'Neill, also testified on Tuesday. After the testimony on Tuesday, Minehart dismissed six charges of theft for practicing medicine without a license. O’Neill is still facing three counts of that charge.