IT WAS A BIZARRE CASE, to say the least.
In June 2014, a son of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell broke into a house near his family's Mantua home, stole an Xbox console and other electronics from the young men living inside, then returned a second time and ended up slashing one of the victims inside the house with a bayonet.
Barron Alexander was then shot four times by another victim in the house, who had a license to carry a gun.
Alexander had legally changed his name in 2012 from Barron Alexander Gosnell to Barron Alexander.
Yesterday, Alexander, 23, was sentenced by Common Pleas Judge Rayford Means to 11 1/2 to 23 months in jail, with immediate parole, followed by eight years of probation.
Since Alexander has been in custody for more than 17 months since his June 4, 2014, arrest, he was expected to be released from jail as early as last night, his attorney, Mary Maran, said.
Alexander had pleaded guilty in February to charges of burglary, aggravated assault, possession of an instrument of crime and related offenses.
"This was someone acting out, perhaps having a breakdown," Maran told the judge.
At the time of the burglary, Alexander's father - Gosnell - had been sentenced to serve three consecutive life terms in prison after having been convicted by a jury in 2013 of three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies who were born alive, then killed, during abortion procedures at Gosnell's West Philadelphia clinic.
Gosnell operated the Women's Medical Society "house of horrors" on Lancaster Avenue near 38th Street in Powelton Village.
"You can't look at [Alexander's] background and say [his father's criminal case] didn't affect him, with the national press calling your father a monster," Maran said.
It was in the early morning of June 4, 2014, when Alexander, then 22, broke into a rowhouse two doors down from his family's home, on Brandywine Street near 37th in Mantua. At the time, he was living at home with his mother, Pearl Gosnell, during his summer break from Cheyney University.
Three young men in their mid-20s lived in the home two doors away - a student from the University of Pennsylvania, a student from Temple University and a recent graduate of Drexel University, police have said.
After first stealing an Xbox console, a Wii console, a laptop and cash from the home, Alexander returned and went back into each victim's room. In one room, Alexander was trying to steal the victim's cellphone when that young man woke up, Assistant District Attorney Chance Lee said.
Alexander took a bayonet that was in the room and slashed the man's face, cutting him across his nose, Lee said.
One of the other residents, who had a license to carry a gun, heard his housemate screaming and shot Alexander four times. Alexander collapsed on the front steps of the home.
He was arrested by police shortly before 7 a.m. that day.
Alexander, a tall, thin man with a curly beard, short hair and glasses, walked into the courtroom yesterday with a cane. He told Judge Means that he still has the four bullets lodged in his body, including one in his spine. It is because of the bullet in his spine that he walks with a cane, he said.
He told the judge that his father's criminal case affected him greatly. "When everything happened with my father . . . I couldn't concentrate, I couldn't focus," he said.
But asked by the judge why he burglarized the home of his neighbors - whom he didn't know - Alexander replied, "I wish I had a good answer."
Asked by the judge if he had been drinking, Alexander said he had been drinking brandy.
"How much?" Means asked.
"Way too much," Alexander replied.
Alexander said he plans to return to college and get his degree after being released from jail. He had been studying business administration at Cheyney, where he was a senior, he said.
Maran also told the judge that Alexander is in need of medical attention.
Means said he was giving Alexander immediate parole because of his health and because he didn't see him as a recidivist. Before the burglary, Alexander had never been arrested.
Kermit Gosnell, now 74, is at the State Correctional Institution-Huntingdon, in central Pennsylvania.
Pearl Gosnell, now 54, pleaded guilty in December 2011 to taking part in illegal late-term abortions at Gosnell's clinic and participating in a corrupt organization. She was sentenced in May 2013 to seven to 23 months in prison, with credit for time served, and has since been released.
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