PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Philadelphia doctor accused of performing illegal, late-term abortions in a filthy clinic has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies born alive but acquitted in the death of a fourth baby.
Dr. Kermit Gosnell was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death of a patient.
Prosecutors say the 72-year-old Gosnell delivered babies alive and had their spines severed with scissors to kill them. They say the baby whose death he was cleared in let out a soft whimper before Gosnell cut its neck.
The defense had argued there were no live births at the clinic.
The grisly details of the case came out more than two years ago when authorities described finding bags and bottles of fetuses at the foul-smelling clinic and unsterile instruments that were reused.
Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty.
Prosecutors put on about five weeks of testimony, and co-defendant and former clinic employee Eileen O'Neill called several witnesses.
Gosnell's lawyer, Jack McMahon, did not call either fact or character witnesses for his client. McMahon instead attacked the prosecution witnesses during cross-examination, and argued in closings that the babies were killed in the womb with an abortion drug. He said the patient, 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar of Woodbridge, Va., died of medical complications.
Gosnell ran the Women's Medical Society for more than 30 years until the FBI shut it down after a 2010 raid focused on his high-volume business distributing painkiller prescriptions. Authorities instead stumbled upon abortions under way late at night amid allegedly filthy conditions and found 47 aborted fetuses stored in refrigerators at the clinic.