One down; two to go.
It took less than an hour on the morning of Thursday, April 15, 2021 for a Northumberland County, Pennsylvania jury to return with a verdict on 51-year-old Christy Willis’s charges of felony obstruction, felony hindering apprehension by providing false information to law enforcement, and misdemeanor false reporting.
Christy is the mother of 20-year-old Jahrid Burgess, who was charged with homicide and various other crimes after the 44-day hospitalization in October of 2019 and subsequent death on November 22, 2019 of Arabella Parker, the three-year-old daughter of his live-in girlfriend, Samantha Delcamp.
Samantha, now 24, also faces trial for homicide and other charges in her daughter’s death, although there has been talk of a plea agreement in her case. She testified on Wednesday during the one-day trial of Christy Willis, who was accused of lying to police about what happened to Arabella to mitigate her own son’s involvement in the little girl’s injury and death. If Arabella had been taken to the hospital earlier and if doctors had been told the truth about what happened to her instead of the fabricated story about a spontaneous seizure, she may have survived.
Arabella was taken to Geisinger Memorial Hospital on October 10, 2019 with over 46 injuries, including multiple broken bones, but it was a head injury so severe that part of her brain had to be surgically removed that ultimately took the sweet little girl’s life.
As she was led from the courthouse on Thursday, Christy Willis, who did not testify in her own defense, told reporters, “I am innocent.”
Saying she and her son were both innocent, Christy appeared to point fingers at the media and possibly at Samantha, saying, “You are only getting one side. You all aren’t hearing the full story.”
Her attorney, William Cannon, said, “She doesn’t believe the jury heard all the facts. We will not discuss what we will do as far as an appeal.”
For his part, Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Matulewicz was pleased with the verdict, saying, “We want to thank the jury for their service. I also want to commend Trooper Brian Seibert for an outstanding job in investigating this case.”
Trooper Sieber’s testimony was key in Christy’s conviction. He told the jury on Wednesday that Christy changed her story about whether or not she was present in the rental home in Trevorton shared by Jahrid Burgess and Samantha Delcamp.
The District Attorney asked Judge Hugh Jones to revoke Christy’s bail of $200,000 as she awaits sentencing. Judge Jones granted the request, and Christy was returned to Northumberland County Jail, where she has been incarcerated since her 2019 arrest.
Trial dates have not yet been scheduled for Jahrid Burgess or Samantha Delcamp.
Click here for my previous coverage of Arabella’s story, and listen to my two–episode series about her on Suffer the Little Children Podcast.
Sources: The Daily Item