Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

March 27, 2014

Burr murder trial delayed again

Bill Grimes
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — Trial for a Dieterich woman accused of stabbing a man to death nearly three years ago has been delayed.

Christine M. Burr, 58, had been scheduled to stand trial next month on first-degree murder charges in connection with the death of Joseph Delaney, 54 at the time of his disappearance, in the summer of 2011. Burr is accused of stabbing Delaney to death after throwing a pot of boiling water on him during an argument.

Public Defender Scott Schmidt told Judge J. Marc Kelly during a brief court appearance Thursday that his defense was progressing, but not enough to try the case next month.

"We are making good progress," Schmidt said. "The case is progressing toward a resolution, but we won't be ready for April."

Kelly set a new trial date of June 2. The judge also set a pre-trial hearing for 11 a.m. May 13.

Burr's daughter Kristy L. Mathis, and Mathis' boyfriend, Zebadiah R. Houser, have been charged with helping Burr dispose of Delaney's body. Remains later identified as those of Delaney were found by a hiker in Embarras River bottomland near Newton early last year.

Bill Grimes may be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, at bill.grimes@effinghamdailynews.com, or via Twitter @EDNBGrimes.