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Judge: No Free Lawyer For Philly Abortion Doctor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The west Philadelphia abortion doctor accused of killing seven infants as well as a female patient at his clinic told a judge Friday that he and his wife were 'close to destitute,' and could not afford to hire lawyers, but prosecutors say his assets were 'in the millions.'

Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes, who presided over the grand jury when it came up with its jaw dropping report, interrupted Dr. Kermit Gosnell, when he tried to plead poverty. Assistant DA Joanne Pescatore tallied seven to eight properties, including income producing apartments and a nearly $1-million shore home:

"It's clear from what we heard in court and all of the documents produced, he has excessive assets.'

Judge Hughes ordered Gosnell, as well as his wife, Pearl, to have private lawyers in time for next Wednesday's hearing, during which the District Attorney's office will push to bypass a preliminary hearing and go directly to trial.

"A preliminary hearing would take a lot of time and resources. It would take days, upon weeks, if not months to get through," said Prosecutor Christine Wechsler.

Pescatore also noted after the bypass hearing, District Attorney Seth Williams would meet with a committee to decide whether it would be a capital murder case:

Reported By Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio

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