Delcamp denied request for new trial

Jan. 5—SUNBURY — A Trevorton woman who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the case of 3-year-old Arabella Parker was denied a request for a new trial by Northumberland County President Judge Charles Saylor.

In May after two days of trial, Samantha Delcamp, 26, was found guilty of a misdemeanor count of involuntary manslaughter; three felony counts of aggravated assault; three felony counts of endangering the welfare of a child, obstruction and hindering; and three misdemeanor counts of simple assault, reckless endangerment and false reports.

Delcamp is facing up to 63 years in jail for her role in the beating death of Arabella, her daughter.

State police say Arabella was beaten to death by Delcamp's then-boyfriend, 21-year-old Jahrid Burgess, of Trevorton, in 2019 and Delcamp knew about the abuse but did not stop it or report it to authorities.

Delcamp, through her attorney Michael O'Donnell, of Sunbury, argued that Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Matulewicz should have tried Delcamp, Burgess, and a third person, Burgess' mother, Christy Willis, 54, of Sunbury, all at the same time.

Willis was convicted of lying to authorities about the October 2019 incident.

Burgess was also denied his appeal for a new trial by Saylor late last year.

O'Donnell said the court erred when sentencing Delcamp because the sentence was manifestly excessive and unreasonable. O'Donnell said Delcamp had no prior record and was the victim of domestic abuse.

Saylor disagreed in his ruling that was issued on Dec. 30.

O'Donnell said Delcamp, who testified against both Burgess and Willis, was a key part of the convictions of both individuals.

O'Donnell said there was no disputing that Delcamp was not honest with officers and medical staff when she was first interviewed but that Burgess was not incarcerated at the time, according to a court filing.

O'Donnell told Saylor that Delcamp was totally reliant on Burgess and Willis and that Willis was aware of the abuse suffered by Delcamp but Willis only helped her son.

"Ms. Delcamp was part of the most vulnerable class of individuals in the county," O'Donnell wrote.

O'Donnell said Delcamp also received a high amount of media coverage and she was the subject of sensational and intense media coverage.

Saylor said in his filing that during jury selection the defense was given full opportunity to ask questions of potential jurors' knowledge of the case. Saylor said individual sidebar to ask questions was also utilized to a large extent.

Throughout the nearly three-year case, Matulewicz publicly said he was not giving Delcamp a plea deal for her testimony, even though she was going to cooperate with the district attorney's office. He previously said she was going to be brought to trial on the charges.

Matulewicz declined to comment on Saylor's ruling saying the case could still be appealed and his office does not comment on ongoing cases.