Prosecutors present evidence in Brian Edgar's death

The Kansas City Star/April 17, 2003
By Tony Rizzo

Physician Richard Deitz described the morning of Dec. 30 when Neil Edgar Sr. carried his 9-year-old son, Brian, into the emergency room at KU Med.

"Help me. He's not breathing," Edgar told Deitz.

As emergency room personnel tried to revive the boy, it "became very apparent that young Brian was dead," Dietz testified Thursday in Johnson County District Court.

The onset of rigor mortis indicated that Brian had been dead for quite a while, Deitz testified.

Edgar, 47, his wife, Christy Edgar, 46, and their baby sitter, 19-year-old Chasity Boyd, are charged with first-degree felony murder in Brian's death. Their preliminary hearing began Thursday morning.

The Edgars, who had adopted Brian, were pastors of God's Creation Outreach Ministry in Kansas City, Kan. They had rented a house at 15718 Birch St. in Overland Park, where authorities allege Brian was killed.

Friends and relatives of the Edgars and church members filled the courtroom Thursday morning.

Deitz said he walked to the waiting room where Neil Edgar was sitting and told him the boy was dead.

Edgar put his head in his hands, began to cry and repeatedly said, "O Jesus, O God, what have I done," Deitz testified.

Deitz asked Edgar what he meant.

Edgar told him that Brian had been waking up in the night and "stealing food," Deitz testified.

Edgar said he had given Brian one dose of an herbal sleep aid that contained melatonin, and asked the doctor if he thought that could have caused Brian to die, Deitz testified.

Deitz said he told Edgar that he didn't think one pill would do that.

Edgar told Deitz that the night before, he had checked on Brian and couldn't wake him, but he said Brian was breathing and snoring.

When he checked again in the morning, Edgar told Deitz, the boy wasn't breathing.

After speaking with Edgar, Deitz returned to the emergency room to examine Brian's body. He and a nurse testified Thursday that they saw what appeared to be lines of adhesive residue around his head.

They also saw marks on the boy's wrists and ankles and several marks on his face that could have been bruises, they testified.

Erik Mitchell, the pathologist who performed an autopsy on Brian, also described the adhesive marks around Brian's head. He said some of the marks on Brian's wrist and ankles appeared to be old and some very recent.

Mitchell testified that whatever caused those marks had been repeatedly used over time.

Brian was otherwise a healthy child, Mitchell testified, and the only reasonable explanation for his death was that something obstructed his airway and caused his asphyxiation. There also was evidence that Brian had vomited and that material from his stomach had gotten into his lungs, Mitchell said.

When District Attorney Paul Morrison showed photo enlargements of Brian's injuries to witnesses, Christy Edgar and Boyd wiped tears from their cheeks.

If Judge John Bennett decides the prosecution presented sufficient evidence, he will order the Edgars and Boyd to stand trial.

Testimony was to continue this afternoon.

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