Philadelphia Abortion Case: Man Pleads Guilty to Murder

The man accused of killing two newborn babies at a shuttered abortion clinic in Philadelphia is expected to plead guilty on Thursday.

Steven Massof, a 49-year-old medical school graduate, will plead guilty to two counts of third-degree murder, conspiracy and other charges, a source familiar with the plea agreement told the Associated Press.

Massof did not receive his medical license or certification. He attended medical school in Grenada in 1998 and passed tests required to become a physician, but he did not acquire his medical license.

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He is charged with killing two babies born alive at the West Philadelphia clinic he worked at from 2003 to 2008.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 70, is charged with the death of seven babies and a mother who died after a mishandled abortion.

Massof is expected to be the fourth of 10 defendants to plead guilty. Two other participants in the abortions pleaded guilty to third-degree murder last week. One woman said she killed a live baby with a pair of scissors.

Another defendant, Lynda Williams, is also expected to plead guilty in her hearing next week.

Masoff's plea was presented before Judge Benjamin Lerner, Lerner accept the three previous pleas as well.

If Lerner accepts Massof and Williams' guilty pleas, there would be five defendants left to stand trial. The defendants who pleaded guilty could look for less austere sentences by cooperating with authorities and testifying against other defendants.

Massof has been detained since his arrest earlier this year. He is also being accused of theft by deception for billing as a doctor without the proper qualifications.

Gosnell was the only licensed doctor at the clinic and he faces the most legal trouble. Normally, Gosnell would not arrive at the clinic until the evening, leaving unqualified staff to administer anesthesia, oversee patients and perform other medical tasks. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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