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Gosnell murder trial ends for the week with another heated exchange

by | Mar 29, 2013

By Dave Andrusko

Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore before the jury in the murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell  (photo NBC 10)

Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore before the jury in the murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell
(photo NBC 10)

The murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell ended for the week today on a contentious exchange between defense attorney Jack McMahon and Philadelphia Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Gary Collins.

As explained by the Associated Press, McMahon is offering an alternative explanation for the November 2009 death of Karnamaya Mongar which the prosecution attributes to Gosnell’s untrained staff giving the tiny woman multiple doses of Demerol and other drugs prior to her abortion. Gosnell is also charged with seven counts of first degree murder in the deaths of viable babies aborted alive and then allegedly murdered (as the Grand Jury described it) by “sticking scissors into the back of the baby’s neck and cutting the spinal cord.”

McMahon attempted to pounce on Collins for changing his initial diagnosis of her death.Collins said he first classified Karnamaya Mongar’s death as an “accident” in August. But he changed it to “homicide” in December, as a Grand jury investigated Gosnell’s clinic practices and after Collins toured the shuttered facility. Dale reported.

(The Grand Jury’s scathing 261-page report formed the basis for the indictment of Gosnell and nine of her employees, including his wife. All pleaded guilty, save one, who is also on trial in Philadelphia.)

“’From the get go, the circumstances (described) were inaccurate – totally inaccurate,’ Collins insisted. ‘That made it sound like everything was being done above board.’

“He said he never would have imagined the abortion occurred in a clinic that lacked trained staff, up-to-date drugs and equipment, and rescue equipment to revive patients in distress.

“’You would think you would have people trained in CPR and actual nurses, registered nurses, if you are doing abortions,’ Collins said.”

At that juncture, the testimony took an unexpected turn. Collins left the witness stand and tore off the timeline McMahon had prepared on an easel. “Collins then grabbed a marker and started his own outline for the jury, before McMahon protested and the witness was reined in,” Dale wrote.

Collins apologized and the judge told the jury emotions spill over in a criminal courthouse.

McMahon was also attempting to show that despite the very much higher autopsy findings, no one on staff recalled Mongar getting more than 100 milligrams of Demerol throughout the day.

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Categories: Gosnell