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Father begins testimony in Edgar murder trial


Father begins testimony in Edgar murder trial

Kansas City Star/September 24, 2003
By Tony Rizzo

Neil Edgar Sr. took the stand today as the defense began its case in the child-abuse murder trial of Edgar and family babysitter Chasity Boyd.

His wife, Christy Edgar, pleaded guilty last week to charges of felony first-degree murder in the death of their son, 9-year-old Brian Edgar. He died Dec. 30, 2002, after being encased in duct tape "like a mummy" with only his nose uncovered.

Neil Edgar, who was pastor of God's Creation Outreach Ministry, told the Johnson County District Court jury that his wife ran their church and also was responsible for how the children were disciplined.

In earlier testimony, former church member Chauntel Williams said that Christy Edgar had described being instructed by God to punish children by tying them up.

Neil Edgar said he never heard his wife discuss such a revelation.

"I don't know about that," he said.

He was on the stand for about 30 minutes when the court broke for lunch and was expected to resume testimony this afternoon.

Prosecutors rested their case earlier this morning with the testimony of several crime scene investigators and detectives.

One testified about a hand-written note that police found in Christy Edgar's Toyota SUV. It bore Boyd's fingerprints and was addressed to "Evangelist," which was one of the titles, along with co-pastor and prophet, that Christy Edgar held in the church, according to testimony.

The note said Brian had stolen a piece of candy at church and then lied about it.

"Brian has not had enough," the note said.

In his opening statement last week, District Attorney Paul Morrison speculated that the note could show why Brian was being punished on the night before he died.

The surviving Edgar children have testified that they often were punished for transgressions such as "stealing" cookies or showing disrespect to their elders.

Neil Edgar's testimony was expected to finish this afternon. Boyd's attorney has indicated that he plans to call several former members of the Kansas City, Kan., church as witnesses.

Testimony may be finished by the end of the day.

2003 Sep 24