Judge: 1 trial for Pa. abortion doctor, staffers

By MARYCLAIRE DALE | September 30, 2011 | 11:45 AM EDT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Co-defendants of a Philadelphia abortion doctor charged with murder must stand trial with him, even if they are not charged with performing illegal abortions.

Judge Benjamin Lerner agrees with defense lawyers that the testimony will be highly emotional when Dr. Kermit Gosnell and nine clinic workers go on trial.

But he says the daughter of a patient who died and other witnesses should not have to testify twice.

Lerner on Friday denied motions from co-defendants Eileen O'Neill and Elizabeth Hampton to be tried separately.

The 70-year-old Gosnell was not in court. He's being held without bail in the death of an immigrant woman who died after a botched 2009 abortion and seven late-term babies who prosecutors say were born alive and were killed.