By Dave Andrusko
In the latest twist in the legal story of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, accused of eight counts of murder, his defense attorney yesterday agreed to keep in place a court order freezing the assets of Gosnell and his wife, Pearl. Those assets include several properties, among which is a $900,000 Jersey shore house.
Gosnell and his wife initially claimed they were destitute and asked for public defenders. But “[C]ity prosecutors said they found more than a dozen properties, including the shore property in Brigantine,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Joseph A. Slobodzian.
“Smalley sought the court order fearing Gosnell would dissipate assets to make himself ‘judgment proof’ from patient lawsuits,” Slobodzian reported.
Authorities believe Gosnell made millions of dollars at what they described as a filthy “house of horrors.” Police originally raided the clinic in 2010 because of suspicions Gosnell was illegally dispensing pills. It was only then that they made the late-term abortion discoveries.
They also “found fetal remains mixed among staff lunches in the office refrigerator, jars containing the feet of aborted fetuses and other unsanitary or disturbing practices,” according to the Associated Press.
Gosnell is charged with the death of Karnamaya Mongar and seven viable babies aborted alive whom Gosnell is alleged to have killed by cutting their spinal cords with surgical scissors. Mrs. Gosnell is charged with performing illegal abortions as well as other counts. Eight other clinic workers are charged with various crimes, including four for murder.
The agreement between defense attorney Jack McMahon and Bernard W. Smalley, the lawyer for the family of Mongar who died at Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Society abortion clinic in 2009, was announced during a Wednesday hearing before Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Paul P. Panepinto.
Smalley is suing on behalf of Yashoda Devi Gurung, Karnamaya’s daughter and executor of her estate. Mongar, 41, died following an abortion after being administered too much anesthesia, according to a 261-page Grand Jury report.
According to the Inquirer Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes appointed Kathleen Martin to represent Mrs. Gosnell. “Martin was appointed as interim counsel to determine if Pearl Gosnell has independent assets to hire her own lawyer or must get a court appointment.”
It was Judge Hughes who oversaw the county grand jury whose report resulted in the criminal charges.
Gosnell did not appear in court. He is being held in a Philadelphia prison without bail.
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