Minutes after Carlisle teen Brooke Skylar Richardson was arraigned for allegedly killing her newborn baby, defense attorney Charlie M. Rittgers said, “I can tell you Brooke Skylar Richardson did not kill her baby.”
That statement, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell told this news outlet, “telegraphs what their defense is going to be — the child was not born alive.”
And while Fornshell admits the case has challenges due to the condition of the baby’s remains, other evidence, he said, will prove Richardson purposely caused the death of the child.
“Certainly it would be substantially easier if we could come in and say what the medical cause of death is, but that was made impossible or nearly impossible when she burned and buried the body,” Fornshell said. “I think it is going to be a challenge at the trial phase, because we don’t have that medical cause of death.”
Richardson, 18, who graduated from Carlisle High School in May, is accused of giving birth to a baby just days after her prom, killing it, burning the body and then burying it in the backyard of her home.
She is charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, endangering children, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.
“We may never be able to tell, in a vacuum through science, how the baby died due to the condition of the remains, unfortunately,” said Warren County Coroner Dr. Russell Uptegrove. “Other factors and evidence will have to be considered.”