LEBANON, Ohio -- A judge Wednesday granted a motion to push the trial of a Carlisle woman accused of murder from Nov. 6 to April 2018.
Brooke "Skylar" Richardson stands charged with killing, burning and burying her newborn baby in her backyard. Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said Richardson "purposely caused the death of the child." She's charged with aggravated murder, voluntary manslaughter, endangering children, tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse.
Defense attorney Charlie M. Rittgers filed two motions, one to photograph and measure the interview room at the Carlisle Police Department were Richardson was questioned and for names of experts the prosecution has consulted along with email between them and prosecutors, the Journal-News reported. He withdrew the former motion at the end of the hearing.
The prosecutor said authorities may never be able to say the exact medical cause of the baby's death because of the burning and decomposition that occurred between the time they believe the child was born on May 6 or 7 and when the child was found July 14.
Authorities found the baby's remains buried in Richardson's backyard after investigators were tipped off by a doctor who said a stillborn baby may have been born to a teenager in Carlisle, the prosecutor said.
The aggravated murder charge maintains the defendant “purposely caused the death of her infant.” But the involuntary manslaughter charge says she “caused the death of her infant child by committing endangering children,” meaning she “failed to assist, care for, and/or seek medical attention for her infant child after her birth.”
Rittgers has said Richardson did not kill her baby. The prosecution says the baby girl was born alive. But Warren County Coroner Dr. Russell Uptegrove says the exact cause of death may never be known due to the condition of the remains.
Fornshell hasn't released many details in the case, like the baby's father or what he thinks happened on the night of the baby's death. He did say said he believes the motive to kill the baby was related to Richardson and her mother's obsession with "appearances and how things appear to the outside world." Fornshell said Richardson and her mother would not have wanted the community to know she was pregnant and had a baby.
Fornshell said Richardson gave birth two days after the Carlisle High School prom.
In an interview with Cincinnati Magazine, Richard’s extended family member said Richardson delivered a stillborn baby and suffered from an eating disorder. Family members told Cincinnati Magazine "no one in the family other than Richardson was aware she was pregnant, and after delivering the stillborn child at her family home, she was scared and blamed herself, so she buried the body in the backyard."
Richardson planned on attending the University of Cincinnati in the fall, her attorney said.
A gag order has been issued by Oda prohibiting all parties involved in the case from making public statements about the case.