Hundreds of people descend on the Nebraska Capitol, in Lincoln, on May 16, 2023, to protest plans by conservative lawmakers in the Nebraska Legislature to revive an abortion ban. An 18-year-old Nebraska woman was sentenced Thursday, July 20 to 90 days in jail followed by two years of probation for burning and burying a fetus last year after she took medication given to her by her mother to end her pregnancy, Celeste Burgess was sentenced after pleading guilty earlier this year to a count of concealing or abandoning a dead body. (AP Photo/Margery Beck, file)
OAN’s Geraldyn Berry
6:18 PM – Friday, July 21, 2023
In a case that sent shockwaves through Nebraska, 19-year-old Celeste Burgess faced sentencing following a guilty plea to a felony charge of removing, concealing, or abandoning a dead human body.
The disturbing incident involved an illegal abortion that occurred when Celeste was 17-years old, leading to the disposal of the fetus.
According to court documents filed in Nebraska’s Madison County, Burgess was sentenced to 90 days in jail and two years of probation. Under the plea agreement, misdemeanor charges of false reporting and concealing a death were dropped.
“The Court specifically finds that while probation is appropriate, confinement is necessary because without this confinement, it would depreciate the seriousness of the crime or promote disrespect for the law,” the judge’s order read.
The investigation into Celeste Burgess and her mother, Jessica Burgess, commenced in late April 2022 after concerns arose that the 17-year-old had given birth to a stillborn fetus. Facebook messages between the mother and daughter were used as evidence, revealing discussions about obtaining abortion pills and plans to burn “the evidence.” The fetus’s body, exhumed by authorities, displayed injuries indicating possible burning after the termination of the pregnancy.
Initially, Celeste Burgess claimed that the fetus was delivered stillborn, according to an affidavit supporting a search warrant. However, further investigations by the authorities alleged that she had undergone a medication abortion, which violated the state’s prohibition on abortions after 20 weeks. Court documents suggest that Celeste Burgess was around 28 weeks pregnant when her pregnancy was terminated.
Jessica, Celeste’s 42-year-old mother, faced even more serious charges, including a felony count of performing an abortion beyond 20 weeks and a felony count of performing an abortion as someone other than a licensed physician. As part of a plea bargain, Jessica Burgess pleaded guilty to two felonies: removing, concealing, or abandoning a dead human body and performing an abortion beyond 20 weeks, along with a misdemeanor charge of false reporting. The other charges against her were dismissed.
Jessica Burgess’s attorney requested a psychological examination for her client before sentencing, scheduled for September 22nd.
The case took place against the backdrop of Nebraska’s recent abortion legislation. Earlier in the year, the state’s Republican Governor Jim Pillen signed a bill into law banning most abortions after 12 weeks, with limited exceptions for sexual assault, incest, and medical emergencies.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts