Update Wednesday: The read back of testimony is underway.
The Philadelphia jury in the murder trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell cut deliberations short Tuesday after asking the judge to have the testimony of a Gosnell clinic worker read back to them.
Because the testimony of Lynda Williams was spread over parts of two days, April 9 and 10, and covers about 270 pages, Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart and prosecution and defense lawyers decided to do the reading at one stretch when the jury returns Wednesday to begin a sixth full day of deliberations.
Williams' testimony is important because it touches on two of the murder charges against Gosnell.
One is the killing of a newborn known as "Baby C," who Williams testified she killed by snipping its spine with scissors after the mother was given large doses of a labor-inducing drug and spontaneously aborted into a toilet.
Williams testified that she had seen Gosnell cut the spines of other babies during late-term abortions and that he told her it was "routine procedure."
Williams was originally charged with Gosnell on first-degree murder and conspiracy charges in Baby C's death. Williams pleaded guilty to third-degree murder as part of a plea deal in which she testified against Gosnell.
The alleged killing of Baby C remains the basis of one of four first-degree murder counts against Gosnell. If the jury finds him guilty of any of the first-degree charges, Gosnell could be sentenced to death by lethal injection.
Williams also was the de-facto anesthetist who prosecutors allege overdosed abortion patient Karnamaya Mongar on Nov. 19, 2009 during an abortion procedure. Mongar's death is the basis of a third-degree murder count against Gosnell. Williams also pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in Mongar's death.
Like most Gosnell employees, Williams, 44, came to the Women's Medical Society clinic with little or no medical qualifications and a long pedigree of personal problems.
Though she had a seventh-grade education and trained as a phlebotomist, Williams said Gosnell taught her how to do ultrasound exams, administer anesthesia and help in abortions.
Williams was one of eight Gosnell employees charged who pleaded guilty; most, like Williams, also testified at Gosnell's trial.
Gosnell, 72, also faces 24 counts of performing abortions past Pennsylvania's 24-week gestational age limit, 227 courts of performing abortions without the mandated 24-hour waiting period and racketeering and corrupt organizations.
Codefendant Eileen O'Neill, 56, of Phoenixville, an unlicensed doctor who worked in Gosnell's family practice, is charged in six counts of theft by deception - posing as a licensed doctor - that form the basis of racketeering and conspiracy counts.