Carlisle buried baby trial: How attorneys described their cases to potential jurors today

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Attorneys from both sides addressed potential jurors in the murder trial of Brooke Skylar Richardson this morning before the jury selection process began on the first day.

Richardson is on trial in Warren County Common Pleas Court facing charges of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, endangering children, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.

She is accused of killing and burying her baby in her parents’ backyard in 2017.


For the prosecution

“Upon learning she was pregnant (in August 2016), Brooke burst into tears and told the doctors she could not have this child and she didn’t not tell anyone about being pregnant,” said Warren County Assistant Prosecutor Julie Kraft.

She did not tell her parents, her friends or the baby’s father, Kraft said.

On May 7, Richardson “gave birth of a daughter in the middle of the night in her house, (and) upon realizing she was going into labor, she still told no one,” Kraft said.

She did not tell brother or parents, who were asleep downstairs, or her brother, who was in the bedroom across from hers, Kraft said.

“She took her daughter’s life, destroyed all evidence of her birth (by burying her),” Kraft said.

For more than two months the body decomposed in the ground and still she told no one, Kraft said. Richardson was confronted by a doctor in July 2017 when getting a refill for birth control, she said.

“Brooke broke down told her (doctor) she had the baby and buried her in the backyard,” Kraft said.


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For the defense

Charles M. Rittgers pointed to an early statement by the prosecution that the baby was burned, which has since been recanted by the state’s own witness.

“The second interrogation of Sklyar, that is what the entire case is about,” Rittgers Jr. said.

In the first interrogation, Ricahrdson said she had a stillborn baby and buried it in that backyard. She was not arrested. There were six days between interrogations, he said.

After a prosecution doctor said the bones were burned and charred, “they (police) were told to go get a confession that she burned her baby and the baby was born alive,” Rittgers’ Jr. said.

In the second interrogation, which Rittgers Jr. said used evidence that was later recanted, “they broke Skylar down. (They) told her this is a medical certainty that there is burning in this case. You will be able to see with your own eyes that she is utterly confused by this conversation.

“And they say, ‘Look Skylar,’ as they hold her hand and pretend to her friend, ‘Look, it will be much better if you just say you cremated your child as opposed to throwing her in the middle of a fire.”

Rittgers Jr. said Richardson denied the burning 17 times in the interrogation.

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