19-year-old Celeste Burgess has received a 90-day prison sentence for conducting an illegal 29-week abortion and subsequently burning the baby’s remains, with assistance from her mother.
Burgess had pleaded guilty to a felony charge of removing, concealing, or abandoning a dead human body. She had been facing up to two years in prison.
Earlier this month, 42-year-old Jessica Burgess pleaded guilty to assisting her then-17-year-old daughter in disposing of the body. She was also responsible for obtaining the abortion pills online.
As reported by One America News:
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 reads.
The mother pleaded guilty to performing an abortion after 20 weeks of gestation, making false reports, and tampering with human skeletal remains. In a plea deal, prosecutors dropped charges of concealing the death of another person and abortion by someone other than a licensed physician. She is sentenced on September 22.
In April 2022, the police received information that the teenager had delivered a stillborn baby in the bathtub at her home.
“After the teen aborted the 29-week-old fetus, the two burned the remains and buried them in a field north of Norfolk in northeastern Nebraska,” Fox News reported after the mother’s plea. “Authorities later found the burned fetus.”
During the police interview, the teenager claimed that she had experienced a miscarriage, and her mother had placed the body in a bag in the back of their van.
Investigators followed the lead to the corpse, which they dug up and found to have “thermal injuries” consistent with being burned.
At this point, the police secured a warrant to access the mother and daughter’s Facebook messages, which exposed their intentions to carry out the home abortion and dispose of the body and related evidence.
In one of the messages, Celeste Burgess talked “about how she can’t wait to get the ‘thing’ out of her body.”
In Nebraska, abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy have been prohibited since 2010. However, in May, Republican Governor Jim Pillen signed new legislation that further restricts the procedure, now banning it after 12 weeks of gestation.
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