Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Accused murder Kermit Gosnell and his nine co-defendants appeared in court yesterday and were denied a request for a preliminary evidence hearing to test the State’s case against them.
Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes said that such a hearing was unnecessary due to the long investigation of the grand jury, which issued the criminal indictments. Such a hearing would have delayed the prosecution of the case significantly. (Read the grand jury report.)
An arraignment date of March 2, 2011, has been set when Gosnell and his accomplices are expected to enter pleas. Gosnell is currently being held without bail.
Gosnell is a Philadelphia abortionist who was arrested and charged with the murder of a late-term abortion patient and seven babies who were born alive and later killed by having their spinal cords cut with scissors. He and his employees operated what has become known as a “house of horrors” where unlicensed and untrained workers kept women in the late terms of pregnancy dangerously drugged while they suffered through hours of labor in a filthy mill where venereal disease was spread to patients through the reuse of dirty instruments. (View graphic photos of Gosnell’s victims.)
Even though Gosnell made in excess of 1.8 million per year by doing illegal late-term abortions and operating what amounted to an illicit pill mill, he had earlier asked for a public defender, telling the court he was broke. However, investigators discovered $240,000 in cash stashed in his home when he was arrested. Gosnell was ordered to pay for his own attorney and was represented at yesterday’s hearing by criminal defense attorney Jack McMahon.
District Attorney Seth Williams was also in Harrisburg on Monday testifying before a state legislative committee about the Gosnell case and the inaction by state authorities who received numerous complaints against Gosnell but did nothing. The committee members indicated that they would thoroughly investigate what the grand jury called a “complete regulatory collapse.”
State employees involved in the nonexistent oversight of Gosnell’s abortion mill have retained attorneys at state expense and have stopped cooperating. So far, taxpayers have paid over $100,000 for the state workers’ attorney fees.
“Those who put politics of abortion above the rule of law and the public safety are now ducking and running for cover. They should be fired and forced to pay for their legal defense out of their own pockets,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “The state workers who turned a blind eye or overtly covered up for Gosnell are just as responsible for that abortion nightmare as those who actually committed the crimes. They need to be held accountable for their actions.”