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Archive for Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Prosecuting attorneys in child-abuse death oppose separate trials

April 30, 2003

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— Johnson County prosecutors insist the adoptive parents and baby sitter of a child who suffocated after he had been bound and gagged should be tried together.

In a court filing Tuesday, prosecutors said all three of the defendants were involved directly or as aiders and abettors in the systematic abuse of Brian Edgar and his two siblings.

Christy Edgar, her husband, Neil Edgar Sr., and baby sitter Chasity Boyd are charged in Johnson County District Court with first-degree felony murder in the child-abuse death of the 9-year-old boy in December.

Christy Edgar and Boyd allegedly wrapped Brian from head to toe in duct tape because he had stolen food, according to preliminary hearing testimony. Neil Edgar has not been directly implicated in the abuse that caused Brian's death.

The Edgars are pastors of God's Christian Outreach Ministry in Kansas City, Kan., and Boyd is a member of the storefront church. Five other church members face charges of abusing the Edgars' children.

A hearing is scheduled today in Johnson County District Court on the request for a separate trial filed last week by Christy Edgar.

Bob Thomas, Christy Edgar's lawyer, said her right to a fair trial would be hurt because the defendants would be using antagonistic defenses, implicating one another.

But prosecutors argue there should be one trial because the charges and facts are identical for each defendant, and it would be less traumatic for the surviving Edgar children to testify only once.

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