Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Laurel, MS: Court Upholds Guilty Verdict Found When Abortion Practitioner Killed His Wife

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 5, 2010

Laurel, MS (LifeNews.com) -- In a 5-4 vote last Thursday, the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the 20-year sentence given to former Mississippi and Alabama abortion practitioner Malachy DeHenre, who was found guilty by a grand jury of killing his wife.

DeHenre, who had lost his medical license in three states over botched abortions, had pleaded not guilty to killing his wife, Dr. Mysha Rose DeHenre, 10 years ago.

In January 2008, a Jones County Circuit Court jury unanimously convicted DeHenre of manslaughter after deliberating for just 45 minutes. Six years prior a jury failed to convict DeHenre after a mistrial but the abortion practitioner was re-indicted on the charges when new evidence came to light.

Jones County Assistant District Attorney J. Ronald Parrish told the laurel Leader Call newspaper last week that he was informed by the state high court that the conviction was upheld.

“No case I've handled since I've been here gives me as much gratification as this one," he said. “The man is a despicable nasty person."

“He not only killed his wife, that’s what he was convicted for, but I think people need to know about him. He also killed two other women during botched abortion. One was in Alabama and one in Jackson, Mississippi. And according to him, he performed 30,000 abortions on unborn children," Parrish continued.

DeHenre's New Woman Medical Center abortion facility in Jackson closed in 2005 and he was required, in December 2005, to pay substantial damages to a woman who was injured in a failed abortion in 2003.

Circuit Judge Winston Kidd awarded Latosha Travis $500,000 in damages after the abortion center failed to respond to her lawsuit. DeHenre and the abortion business were defendants in the suit.

In March 2005, the Mississippi state medical board suspended his medical license over botched abortions.

The suspension came after he testified that he did not like performing some 35,000 abortions but did so because he needed the work.

During his testimony, DeHenre stated, "I found work in Jackson, and it happened to be an abortion clinic in which an obstetrician was needed. I needed money to pay expenses and education for my children. It was supposed to be temporary, but it turned out to be longer. I was in a position I didn't want to be in, but I needed work."

“I ask your forgiveness,” he said at the time. "I don't want to be an outcast. I want to be among the medical community."

DeHenre eventually got his license back and that's when Parrish told the newspaper he was prompted to reinvestigate the case.

“There was (DeHenre’s) big smiling face and a story that said he was getting his medical license back. I wondered why this guy was running around here free, especially after the horrific way he killed his wife who I have heard nothing but praises about," he said. “There was enough evidence there to merit a new trial. He thought he had gotten away with this despicable crime, but I was determined not to let him get away with it.”

A gunshot to the head while his wife was in the couple's home resulted in her death. DeHenre took the stand in his own defense and claimed his wife produced the gun after returning from a trip from their native Zimbabwe. After wrestling with the gun, DeHenre says it went off accidentally and resulted in her death.

However, during the testimony, AP reported that Dr. Michael Baden, a forensics pathologist, said he reviewed the autopsy and evidence in the case and confirmed Mysha DeHenre's death was not accidental nor a suicide.

“The discharge of that bullet was by another person, not by the deceased,” he said.

Parrish said DeHenre was in the country illegally and will be deported after he has served his time in prison.

Medical boards in Alabama and New York have also suspended DeHenre's medical licenses in those states.

In one Alabama case, a woman died 18 hours after having an abortion. The women involved in three other cases had to have hysterectomies to stop massive hemorrhaging from uterine perforations, including Travis.

Travis, who was 20 years old at the time and living in Jackson, paid DeHenre $680 for the abortion, the lawsuit said. She had at least one child already and though she planned to have more children in the future, she was devastated to have the hysterectomy because of the failed abortion.

In the case involving a death, DeHenre admitted he should have met the patient at the hospital or relayed medical information to the doctor who treated her.

DeHenre had also been charged with raping a 21-year-old patient in March 1992.

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