SUNBURY — The defense attorney for the late Arabella Parker’s mother was quick to criticize Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Matulewicz on Tuesday. It’s the first day of Samantha Delcamp’s trial and her attorney, Michael O’Donnell, has called the prosecutor “a politician seeking media attention”, not justice for the child.
During his opening statement, O’Donnell claimed that the Commonwealth had already used Delcamp’s earlier testimony four times and that the story had changed. O’Donnell said Delcamp tried to stop her boyfriend, Jahrid Burgess of Trevorton, from beating the child in 2019.
O’Donnell also said the DA had also previously noted that Delcamp had pleaded with Burgess to call 911 on several occasions. But this Burgess instead called out his already doomed mother, Christy Willis. Burgess was convicted last November of the child’s third-degree murder, which O’Donnell said stemmed from Delcamp’s testimony against the two of them. O’Donnell also claimed that Delcamp didn’t have a criminal record, nor did she have much support around her, after being cut by Burgess.
In his opening statement, Tony Matulewicz, as he has done in the two previous trials for the child, argued that Delcamp waited 49 minutes before making calls. Instead of finally calling 911, the DA says Burgess’ mother was called, as the child was “dropping like a fish” having a seizure.
The DA also accused Delcamp of lying to a Northumberland County child and youth social worker in Geisinger. He says if she had told the truth, the child could have been saved and might even have recovered. The DA also claims that Delcamp was aware that Burgess had beaten the child on four other occasions over the course of six to eight weeks.
Delcamp is charged with criminal accessory and criminal homicide, along with other counts. Arabella Parker died of her injuries in November 2019.
Testimony continues this week in Northumberland County Court.