The five-week trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia abortion doctor, ended Monday when the jury passed down guilty verdict on three of four counts of first-degree murder of infants.
The verdict comes at the close of a high-profile case that featured gruesome testimony by former workers in Women's Medical Society, Gosnell's West Philly clinic he routinely performed late-term abortions between 2008 and 2010, when it was shut down following a federal raid.
The crux of the case against the 72-year-old centered around the question of whether or not he terminated living fetuses after they had been delivered, and the jury found Monday that in three instances he did just that, according to the New York Times.
He was, however, acquitted of first-degree murder of a fourth fetus that was said to have given a soft whimper before being terminated, as well as of one charge of third-degree murder in connection with a 41-year-old woman who died in his clinic. He was instead found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the case of the woman's death.
The closing arguments in the case grew heated, when prosecutor Ed Cameron directed harsh questions at Gosnell, according to Fox News.
"Are you human?" Cameron asked him. "To med these women up and stick knives in the backs of babies?"
After the verdict, defense lawyer Jack McMahon said that Gosnell got a "fair trial" before describing his client's feelings regarding the jury's decision.
"He's disappointed and he's upset," McMahon said, according to NBC News.
Gosnell was initially charged with murdering seven late-term infants by administering strong drugs and "snipping" their necks with scissors. Workers in his clinic reported that some of the fetuses showed signs of life including flailing movements and "alien"-like sounds prior to their being killed in such a manner.
But last month, Court of Common Pleas Judge Jefferey P. Minehart threw out three of the first-degree murder charges without explaining why he chose to do so, according to the Times.
Prosecutors indicated they will seek the death penalty for Gosnell, who was said to have kept aborted fetuses' feet in jars in his office, when the case goes to sentencing on May 21, NBC reported.
The defense argued that the prosecution could not prove that any of the fetuses named in the murder charges had been delivered alive, and that therefore Gosnell could not have murdered them, a claim the jury rejected in the three cases for which he was convicted of first-degree murder.
Horrific testimony in the trial revealed tales of the abortionist and workers at his now-shuttered clinic allegedly snipping fetuses' spines with scissors to "ensure fetal demise" and a baby "screeching ... like a little alien" during a so-called live-birth abortion procedure allegedly performed at the clinic.
The trial was watched closely by many pro-life and conservative groups, including LifeNews.com, which reported extensively on the developments, but many in the pro-life movement, as well as some pro-choice folks who were stunned by the gruesome nature of Gosnell's crimes, questioned why mainstream media outlets largely ignored the shocking story.
Outlets including the Associated Press, local newspapers like the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Delaware News-Journal, and local TV stations like NBC Philadelphia had reporters covering Gosnell's trial, but several of the major news networks dedicated precious few moments of airtime -- if any at all -- to the case as it proceeded over the past few months.
The media watchdog site NewsBusters.org covered this lack of attention in some depth, and it reported April 9 that over the preceding week, ABC, CBS and NBC had not spent a second covering the ongoing Gosnell trial. By comparison, the major three networks dedicated a total of 41 minutes and 26 seconds of airtime to 36 stories on the scandal surrounding disgraced Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice.