18-year-old charged in northeast Nebraska abortion case takes plea deal

Published: May. 22, 2023 at 11:22 AM CDT
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MADISON, Neb. (KTIV) - A Nebraska teenager accused of having an illegal abortion has pleaded guilty to one of her charges.

On Monday, May 22, 18-year-old Celeste Burgess pleaded guilty to one count of removing/concealing/abandoning a dead human body. As part of her plea agreement, Burgess’s other two charges, concealing the death of another person and false reporting, were dropped. Burgess is now scheduled to return to court on July 20 for her sentencing.

Burgess was initially charged after she allegedly took pills to abort her 29-week-old baby, before setting the fetus on fire and disposing of the body in a Madison County field.

Also charged in the case was Celeste’s mother, Jessica Burgess. She’s charged with helping her then 17-year-old daughter end her pregnancy, and then burn and bury the fetus. Her charges include removing/concealing/abandoning a dead human body, concealing the death of another person, false reporting, performing/attempting an abortion over 20 weeks and performing an abortion by a non-licensed doctor.

Jessica Burgess is scheduled to be in court on July 7 for her pretrial, with her jury trial taking place on Aug. 14.