LEBANON, Ohio -- Judge Donald Oda issued a gag order in the case of Brooke Skylar Richardson, the 18-year-old accused of killing, burning and burying her newborn.
This means the prosecution and defense are not allowed to talk to the media; doing so could lead to a contempt of court charge.
"A few moments ago, on his own motion, Judge Don Oda issued a gag order precluding all parties to the State v. Brooke Skyler Richardson case from making any further statements about the case," Prosecutor David Fornshell posted on Facebook Thursday afternoon. "The only exception to this order relates to addressing scheduling and other procedural matters pertaining to the case.
"Accordingly, our office will not be responding to any further media inquiries relating to this matter beyond the issue of scheduling and procedural matters. Nor will there be any additional updates concerning factual aspects of the case."
News of the gag order came hours after Fornshell revealed that investigators determined Richardson's baby was a girl.
Richardson, 18, is accused of killing her newborn baby, burning the body and burying the remains in her backyard all within hours of the baby's birth. In addition to aggravated murder, she's charged with involuntary manslaughter, endangering children, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.
Fornshell said Richardson gave birth two days after the Carlisle High School prom, sometime late May 6 or early May 7.
The baby was born, died, was burned and buried "all within a few hours," Fornshell said. He said the baby was born at about 38 weeks to 40 weeks — full term. Fornshell said the baby was born alive.
Carlisle police were notified July 14 by an OB-GYN that a stillborn baby may have been born to a teenager in town, Fornshell said. Police found the baby's remains that night. Initially, Richardson was only charged with reckless homicide.
In a news conference after charging Richardson with aggravated murder, Fornshell would not say how long the baby was alive before it was killed, nor how the baby died. “We may never know the medical cause of the baby’s death,” he said.
Richardson pleaded not guilty to the charges Monday. Her attorney insists that Richardson "did not kill her baby."