Barron Alexander, the son of “House of Horrors” abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, told a judge on Monday that to this day, he still doesn’t know why he burglarized the home of three neighbors, but he said his father’s conviction for murder might have had something to do with it.
“It slowly broke me down over time,” Alexander, 23, said in court.
Alexander, who has served 17 months in jail, was expected to be released late Monday after being granted immediate probation in a case that would have escaped much media attention, if it wasn’t for his father's notoriety.
“You don’t need specialized degrees to know he was acting out,” said his defense lawyer, Mary Maran.
Gosnell was sentenced to life in prison in 2013 for performing illegal, late-term abortions in a squalid Powelton Village clinic that investigators said contained jars of fetal parts and frozen fetal remains.
The case drew national attention for its lurid depiction of a filthy practice that preyed on low income women. It remained in the headlines for months, driven by the national debate over abortion rights, and drawing allegations by pro-life groups that the state turned a blind eye to Gosnell.
The former Cheyney University senior, who changed his last name to escape the stigma of being associated with his father, said his grades fell from a 3.7 GPA in his freshman year, to a 2.5.
He told Common Pleas Court Judge Rayford Means that he doesn’t know why he went into his neighbor’s home, but that he was really drunk at the time.
“I wish I had a good answer,” Alexander said.
On the night of the burglary, Alexander entered the home of three college students, stealing a video game system and several games. He hid them behind a house, and then went back. He was trying to steal one of the victim’s cell phones from a bedroom when he woke up.
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They started fighting, and Alexander grabbed a bayonet that was in the victim’s room and slashed him across the face.
A roommate woke up and opened fire. One bullet remains lodged in Alexander’s spine, and he walks with a cane to this day.
“I can’t imagine waking up in my sleep with someone trying to beat on me and take my stuff,” Alexander said.
Officially, Alexander was sentenced to 11 to 23 months for the crimes, but because he’d been in jail he was granted immediate parole.
Judge Means made re-enrolling in college and seeking medical treatment for his probation.