Judge sentences Gosnell employee to 5-10 years for death of woman during abortion
A former employee at Kermit Gosnell's “House of Horrors” has been sentenced to 5-10 years in prison for her role in killing a 41-year-old woman during an abortion.
Sherry West, 54, was one of three Gosnell employees to administer a lethal overdose of Demerol to Karnamaya Mongar on November 19, 2009. Another was only 16-years-old. None had proper medical training.
At first she testified that she could not remember key details. But eventually, she provided heartrending testimony that Gosnell had her kill a baby between 18 and 24 inches long that she heard screaming and “screeching, making this noise” that “sounded like a little alien.”
When asked about Mongar – an immigrant from Bhutan who had only been in the country a matter of months – West remembered how paramedics struggled to get into Gosnell's filthy, flea-ridden “house of horrors,” in part because one entrance had been padlocked and no one could find the key.
West said she rode with Mongar to the hospital, then returned and began destroying and falsifying records that could have been used as evidence against her and her associates.
West had worked for 22 years as a surgical technician in a Veteran's Administration hospital before joining the staff at Gosnell's West Philadelphia Women's Medical Society. After developing Hepatitis C and losing her job, she begun working for Gosnell “under the table” to make ends meet.
Her previous medical employment weighed against her in today's sentencing.
“You had experience in a real hospital,” Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lernersaid as he passed the sentence today. “You had reason to understand that this was not a medical facility."
But West, who had a history of treatment for mental disorders, had been a patient of Gosnell's for 20 years.
In court today, she reportedly said she had never meant to harm anyone.
"I think at some point you'll come to be more honest in terms of what your role was here,” Judge Lerner said. “And I think that you're not there yet."
“Nobody believes the truth anymore,” she said, crying as she stood waiting for the elevator to take her back to her cell.
Gosnell had also been convicted of third-degree murder in Mongar's case. Judge Jeffrey Minehart sentenced him to two-and-a-half to five years in prison.
Gosnell had already been sentenced to three life sentences for murdering babies outside the womb, snipping their necks with scissors.