Three former employees of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, including his own wife, are being sentenced Wednesday for their roles in the investigation of his West Philadelphia clinic.
Adrienne Moton, Lynda Williams and Pearl Gosnell have all pled guilty to either third-degree murder or conspiracy charges for crimes they committed at the Women's Medical Society.
Described by investigators as filthy and corrupt, the facility at 3801 Lancaster Avenue was Dr. Kermit Gosnell's home base. There, prosecutors say, Dr. Gosnell would regularly perform late-term abortions and kill newborn babies by snipping their necks with scissors.
The 72-year-old was found guilty of first-degree murder on May 13 in the deaths of three babies, involuntary manslaughter in the overdose death of patient Karnamaya Mongar and more than 200 abortion procedure violations. He gave up his right to appeal a death sentence in exchange for three consecutive life sentences.
Moton was first to be sentenced Wednesday by Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner.
Judge Lerner handed down a 11 and a half to 23 month sentence. She was set free following the proceedings, for already serving 2 and a half years in prison.
Moton previously pled guilty to third-degree murder, in turn for her testimony against Dr. Gosnell during the trial. She was first to testify and recalled several abortion procedures in court including one where the mother delivered the baby into a toilet.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
Moton described how the baby seemed to struggle in the bowl before she snipped its neck with scissors. She admitted to cutting 10 babies' necks, calling the snipping "common practice" at the clinic.
Moton also took a picture of one of the babies Dr. Gosnell is accused of murdering. Referred in court as Baby A, Moton says the boy was nearly 30 weeks old when he was aborted.
She claims Gosnell even joked about the baby’s size saying he was so big the baby could have walked to the bus stop. The graphic photo, was among others, shown to the jury.
At her sentencing hearing Wednesday, Moton's father Gregory told Judge Lerner he witnessed vast improvements in his daughter's character and her views on life. Rhonda Moton, Adrienne's sister, wept in the gallery as her father spoke to the judge on the woman's behalf.
"The trial has been such a long time for us," Rhonda said.
Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore, the lead prosecutor on the case, agreed with Gregory Moton's statements. She fought back tears as the man testified to his daughter's character.
Pestcatore told the court Moton understood what she was doing at the clinic was wrong, unlike other clinic employees. The prosecutor ultimately recommended a sentence of 3 to 6 years in prison.
In addition to Moton's time served, Judge Lerner gave her three years probation.
Gregory and Rhonda Moton shouted "hallelujah" following the judge's decision.
After a short recess, the court moved on to Lynda Williams.
The 44-year-old acted as the clinic's anesthesiologist, even though she had no formal training and only an 8th grade education.
Williams was the person who delivered four doses of drugs to Mongar during her procedure. Testifying in court, she described how the woman's skin turned gray and her breathing slowed following the last dose.
She also admitted to snipping the neck of one of the babies Dr. Gosnell was charged with murdering, referred to in court as Baby C.
Williams sentencing was postponed, however, because of her involvement in a federal narcotics case against the clinic's employees and former doctor.
In that case, federal prosecutors allege the employees, including Williams, ran a pill mill out of the abortion clinic. Prosecutors claim Dr. Gosnell would write prescriptions and sell them to patients for $10 or $20. Clinic staff would also get "tips" on the sales.
Williams is set to testify in that case, which is scheduled to begin in the fall. Though, that may change, as Dr. Gosnell is expected to change his not guilty plea in the case at a court hearing next Thursday.
Pearl Gosnell is last to be sentenced. She's expected to learn her fate later Wednesday.
Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.