At a court hearing in June, 20-year-old Jahrid Burgess, who is accused of beating three-year-old Arabella Parker to death in 2019, argued that he was not provided with an attorney despite asking for one during questioning by Pennsylvania State police troopers. As a result, he claimed, the interview footage should not be allowed in court.
Arabella, the three-year-old daughter of Jahrid’s girlfriend, Samantha Delcamp, was taken to the emergency room on October 10, 2019 with bruised lungs, internal abdominal bleeding, 11 broken ribs, two broken collarbones, multiple bruises all over her face and body, vaginal hemorrhaging, bilateral hematoma, and acute brain bleeding. Soon after her arrival at the hospital, part of her brain had to be surgically removed. After several weeks on life support, Arabella died on November 22, 2019 at Geisinger Memorial Hospital in Danville, Pennsylvania.
Jahrid and Samantha both face murder charges in Arabella’s death. They are being tried separately.
Earlier this month, Northumberland County President Judge Charles Saylor ruled that the statements Jahrid made to the troopers will be heard by the jury during the trial, a date for which has not yet been set.
In his ruling, Judge Saylor explained the reasoning behind ruling the interview footage admissible. The judge reviewed six hours of interview footage, during which, he said, Jahrid was given repeated opportunities to take a break from questioning, but he declined, saying he wanted to answer any questions they had and to help in any way he could.
During the interview, the judge wrote in his ruling, troopers asked Jahrid if he felt threatened, and he responded that he did not. In fact, he told them he wanted them to “ask every single question,” and he did more talking than the investigators did during the interview, which in total lasted for nine hours.
In his order, Judge Saylor noted that investigators did not use any coercive tactics to get Jahrid to talk.
The next court date scheduled for Jahrid is a motion hearing scheduled for 9:15 AM on Friday, September 4. Arabella’s mother, Samantha, is scheduled for a status conference at 9:15 AM on Monday, September 28. Her trial date has not been scheduled yet, either.
Click here for my ongoing coverage of Arabella’s case.
Sources: The Daily Item, Pennsylvania Unified Court System website