The trial for a Carlisle teen accused of killing her infant then burning and burying the body in the backyard of her home has been moved to 2018
Brooke Skylar Richardson, 18, is charged with aggravated murder and several other felonies. She is free on $50,000 bond.
During a pre-trial hearing Wednesday in Warren County Common Pleas Court, Judge Donald Oda II granted the defense’s motion to continue the trial that was scheduled to begin in November.
Assistant Warren County Prosecutor Steve Knippen said the prosecution did not object to the continuance. A firm new trial date was not set, but Oda said the dates of April 9 or April 16 are possible dates depending on the schedules of the attorneys.
Richardson was in court Wednesday with her parents and answered the judge’s basic questions when he asked if she understood she had signed a waiver to give up her right to a speedy trial.
Late Tuesday, Charles H. Rittgers filed a motion requesting a continuance of court conferences and the trial itself.
“Ms Richardson was initially charged with a crime July 20, 2017, over two months ago, and indicted over seven weeks ago on Aug. 4, 2017. The state has provided some discovery to date, but indicated that it has not provided full discovery, including some additional expert reports,” Rittgers wrote in the motion. “Defense counsel is unable to retain and consult with potential experts until full discovery is provided by the state. As of the drafting of this memorandum, the trial is six weeks away and there is no indication from the state that full discovery will be completed soon. Defense counsel needs reasonable time to consult with potential experts after receiving full discovery. Wherefore, defense counsel is respectfully requesting that all dates be continued …”
Rittgers had previously filed two other motions — one to photograph and measure the interview room at the Carlisle Police Department where Richardson was questioned and for names of experts the prosecution has consulted along with email between them and prosecutors.
Rittgers said Wednesday the motion concerning the interview room was moot because they had been give access.
Prosecutors say the cheerleader gave birth to a baby girl on May 6 or 7, caused the baby’s death then covered it up by burning it and burying it in the yard.
The bill of particulars filed Tuesday by the prosecution has little additional information about the charges against Richardson. But the jury will have to consider if the evidence is enough to convict her of either aggravated murder or involuntary manslaughter.
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 has previously said the baby 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.
A gag order has been issued by Oda prohibiting all parties involved in the case from making public statements about the case.
In an interview with Cincinnati Magazine, Richard’s extended family members said Richardson delivered a stillborn baby and suffered from an eating disorder.
Family members told the magazine that Richardson was scared and blamed herself that the baby was a stillborn, so she buried the baby in her backyard.
The family members said Richardson admitted to police the pregnancy and burial of a stillborn baby, and showed them where in the yard behind her house she had buried the baby.