The judge in the trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell has thrown out three of the eight charges of murder he faces.
Prosecutors charged Gosnell in the death of 41-year old patient Karnamaya Mongarand seven babies reportedly born alive. They told jurors the babies were killed by Gosnell and his staff by cutting their spines.
But Gosnell's attorney has argued that there was no "scientific" or "objective" evidence that they were born alive.
On Tuesday, common pleas court Judge Jeffrey Minehart dismissed three of the babies' murder charges without explaining why.
Former employees have been convicted and testified against Gosnell, acknowledging that patients received anesthesia and labor-inducing drugs from untrained staff in squalid conditions.
If convicted of first-degree murder in Mongarand's death and of the four remaining infant deaths, Gosnell could face the death penalty.