The sentencing took place on Friday, with Madison County District Judge Mark Johnson presiding over the case.
Jessica Burgess has been sentenced to two years in prison for her involvement in providing pills for her teenage daughter’s illegal abortion and subsequently burning and burying the fetus
Jessica Burgess pleaded guilty in July to tampering with human remains, false reporting, and providing an abortion after 20 weeks of gestation, violating Nebraska law.
Judge Johnson handed down concurrent one-year sentences for each count, with the abortion charge to be served consecutively after the first two, resulting in a two-year sentence. Jessica Burgess’s attorney, Brad Ewalt, had sought probation, but the judge deemed it inappropriate, citing Jessica Burgess’s initial deception and her use of online sources to acquire the abortion pills.
During the plea hearing, Burgess admitted to assisting her then-17-year-old daughter in terminating her pregnancy
As part of the plea deal, charges of concealing another person’s death and unauthorized abortion were dropped. The daughter, Celeste Burgess, now 19, received a 90-day jail term and two years of probation in July for her role in burning and burying the fetus, and she was released from jail in September.
Both Jessica and Celeste Burgess were visibly emotional in the courtroom as the elder Jessica Burgess was led away in handcuffs to begin her sentence. She may be eligible for release after approximately one year. The abortion performed well into the third trimester and violated Nebraska law, which prohibited abortions after 20 weeks of gestation. Officials disclosed that Jessica Burgess had procured abortion pills online and administered them to her daughter in the spring of 2022.