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Jury Selection in Gosnell Trial; $821,000 fee for Judge's Wife; Arrest in Deadly Hit-Run Haddon Town
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 03/04/13 5:37 pm | updated: 03/04/13 5:37 pm
 
Jury selection began today in the murder trial against West Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell is charged with seven counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of seven infants who were born alive and viable during illegal late term abortion procedures at his Women's Medical Society practice at 3801 Lancaster Ave. He is accused of snipping the babies spines to kill them. Gosnell is also charged with a count of third-degree murder in the death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar. Mongar died when an untrained member of his staff administered too much anesthesia during an abortion. After this trial, Gosnell faces federal charges for allegedly running a "pill mill" out of his practice. A pool of 125 was narrowed down to 43 potential jurors this afternoon.

UPDATE: Three women were selected to the jury of a group of 15. The women were of all ages and came from all parts of the city. The smaller group was questioned individually by Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart on religious issues, opinions on abortion and the death penalty, and what they've seen about the case in the news. More people may be brought in on Tuesday for individual questioning if needed. The jury will need 12 people plus 4-6 alternates.

Over the past decade, Lisa Rapaport, wife of Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery, has received 18 payments as referral fees for connecting law firms with clients. Her most recent payment was $821,000, which was a fee from a settlement of a multimillion-dollar medical malpractice case. Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille has questioned Rapaport's making referrals, especially when McCaffery is presiding over a case involving one of those law firms, although the couple's lawyer says the fees were routine and proper. The rules for disclosure and recusal are unclear and experts disagree on the right course of action for the high court judge in this case.

An arrest has been made in the deadly hit-and-run in Haddon Township, Camden County on Sunday night. 67-year-old Joyce Putmon was hit by a pick-up truck as she crossed Black Horse Pike around 7pm from the Audubon Commons Shopping Center ACME. The driver fled the scene, and Putmon later died at Cooper University Hospital. Camden County Prosecutor’s Office received a tip that a truck matching the description was found in Gloucester City, NJ. It turned out the truck is registered to The Crab Shop in Mount Ephraim. 50-year-old Timothy Polijczuk of Mount Ephraim owns that shop and a blue Chevrolet with a refrigerator box on the back. He was charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident With a Fatality, Causing Death While Driving On a Suspended License and Operating a Motor Vehicle on a Suspended License. Polijczuk is being held at the Camden County Jail in lieu of $192,500 bail.

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