Testimony: Mother said God directed children's punishment

The Kansas City Star/September 23, 2003
By Tony Rizzo

It was God who came to Christy Edgar and gave her a new way to discipline children, she told members of her Kansas City, Kan., church.

She should tie them up.

That was the testimony today of former church member Chauntel Williams, who also told Johnson County District Court jurors that she had seen three of Edgar's children bound.

Prosecutors allege that one of those children, 9-year-old Brian, died Dec. 30, 2002, after being encased in duct tape "like a mummy" with only his nose uncovered. His father, Neil Edgar Sr., and family babysitter Chasity Boyd are on trial. Christy Edgar pleaded guilty last week to charges of felony first-degree murder and child abuse.

Williams testified said that on Dec. 30, Christy Edgar and Boyd brought a black plastic trash bag to her house in Kansas City and told her to get rid of it. Williams said she didn't ask them why or ask what was in the bag.

After they left, Williams said she looked inside and saw a child's one-piece sleeper, some socks and a wadded-up ball of duct tape.

Her husband built a fire in the fireplace and they burned the items as instructed, Williams testified.

Williams, 30, a mother of nine children, testified today as part of a deal with prosecutors in which they will drop a charge of aiding a felon that was filed against her.

Williams said she had been a member of the Edgars' church, God's Creation Outreach Ministry, off and on since she was 16. Neil Edgar was pastor, she said, and Christy Edgar had several titles, including co-pastor, evangelist and prophet.

"She said God gave her that title," Williams said.

She testified that she first heard about children being tied up when Christy Edgar tallked about it with a group of church members.

"We were told God came and gave her a new way to discipline the children," Williams said.

When questioned by Neil Edgar's attorney, Carl Cornwell, Williams said she had never heard Neil Edgar talk about tying up children or seen him do it.

Other testimony today came from pediatrician Lynn Sheets, director of child abuse services at the University of Kansas Hospital. She examined two of Brian Edgar's siblings on Jan. 9 and said both children had injuries consistent with being bound, including marks on their wrists.

Testimony is to continue this afternoon.

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