A Carlisle teen has been indicted on aggravated murder and four other felony charges after prosecutors say she killed her newborn baby and then burned the child’s body just two days after her senior prom.
Brooke Skylar Richardson, 18, is scheduled to be arraigned in Warren County Common Pleas Court today.
Richardson was taken into custody Friday afternoon shortly after a Warren County grand jury indicted her on charges of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, endangering children, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.
Here’s the latest in the case:
1.Prosecutor won’t seek death penalty.
Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said at a news conference Friday that despite the special felony charge of aggravated murder, Richardson would not face the death penalty if convicted. If convicted, aggravated murder could carry 20 years to life in prison to life in prison without parole.
Fornshell said he could have sought the death penalty, but said he chose not to.
2. The baby was born at full term.
Fornshell said that two days after the Carlisle High School prom, sometime between May 6 and May 7, Richardson gave birth to the newborn and caused the child’s death. She reportedly burned the infant and buried the infant in her backyard, Fornshell said.
According to Fornshell, everything occurred over a period of a few hours after the baby was born. He said the baby was born at about 38 weeks to 40 weeks — full term. Carlisle police were notified July 14 by Richardson’s OB-GYN’s office about a possible stillborn baby, Fornshell said.
3. Cause of baby’s death uncertain.
Fornshell said, “We may never know the medical cause of the baby’s death.” He declined to say what the sex of the baby was. Fornshell said his office believes it knows who the father is but said DNA tests many be needed to determine the identity.
Fornshell declined to comment if others had a role or possibly charged with a crime.
“There are a lot of questions our office still has,” he said.
4. Teen was planning to attend UC in fall.
Richardson, a cheerleader who graduated this year from Carlisle High School, was planning to attend the University of Cincinnati this fall, according to her lawyer Charles M. Rittgers of Lebanon.
5. Infant’s remains still being examined.
Warren County Coroner Dr. Russell Uptegrove told this news outlet Monday morning that the baby’s remains are still at the coroner’s office until the foreseeable future.
An anthropologist has more testing to do before completing a final report, he said.