The Philadelphia jury in the murder trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell spent its first full day of deliberations seemingly absorbed with the charges against Gosnell's codefendant, Eileen O'Neill.
All of the questions from the Common Pleas Court jury of seven women and five men Wednesday involved O'Neill, 56, the unlicensed doctor who worked in the family-practice side at Gosnell's Women's Medical Society clinic in West Philadelphia.
The jury deliberated about seven hours and returns Thursday.
Unlike Gosnell, O'Neill is not charged with murder or performing improper abortions. She is charged with racketeering and conspiracy for her role in what prosecutors have called a corrupt organization.
Late in the afternoon, the jurors returned to court and asked Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart to re-instruct them in the law for all charges against O'Neill.
The jury also had the transcript of the April 23 testimony of FBI agent Jason Huff read back to them.
Huff, on the state-federal task force that raided Gosnell's clinic on Feb. 18, 2010, in an investigation into trafficking in prescriptions for narcotics drugs, first testified for the prosecution on March 18, the first day of testimony.
On April 23, O'Neill attorney James Berardinelli called Huff as a defense witness, asking about March 9, 2010, when he and other agents interviewed O'Neill in Phoenixville, where she lived with her mother.
During the interview, Huff testified, O'Neill admitted fleeing the clinic at 3801 Lancaster Ave. the night of the raid because she was "afraid she was in trouble."
O'Neill also admitted that, despite being unlicensed, she saw 70 percent to 75 percent of her patients when Gosnell was not present in the clinic, Huff testified.
Although the significance of Huff's testimony for the jury is unclear, it plainly settled a dispute among several on the panel. As the 12 left court to return to the jury room, four were engaged in an animated discussion about the testimony.
Earlier Wednesday, the jury asked to see medical charts for three patients seen by O'Neill in 2007 and 2009 who were charged, or whose insurance companies were billed, for physician services provided by O'Neill.
O'Neill is charged with six counts of theft by deception involving the three patients for allegedly presenting herself as a licensed doctor. The jury must find her guilty of at least two of those counts to also find her guilty of racketeering.
Because the long verdict sheet begins with O'Neill, it appears the jury has not begun looking at the more serious charges against Gosnell.
Gosnell, 72, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder involving babies allegedly born alive during illegal late-term abortions and killed by him by snipping their spines with scissors.
A guilty verdict on any first-degree murder count would result in a penalty hearing where the jury would hear evidence to decide whether Gosnell should be executed by lethal injection or sentenced to life without chance of parole.
Gosnell is also charged with one count of third-degree murder in the 2009 death of abortion patient Karnamaya Mongar, 41, of Virginia, who prosecutors allege was overdosed on Demerol by Gosnell's untrained staff.
Gosnell also faces 24 counts of performing abortions past Pennsylvania's 24-week gestational age, 227 counts of performing abortions without giving the woman the mandated 24-hour waiting period, and other counts, including racketeering and operating a corrupt organization.