A state appeals court has lifted the gag order imposed in the case of a Carlisle teenage mother accused of killing her newborn last spring.
The defense says the county prosecutor, relying on inaccurate information given to him at the time he presented their case to a grand jury, held a press conference shortly after indictment where remarks about Richardson burning the baby were made.
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Included in the court document are several media reports in which Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell talks about the burning.
The defense team said when the prosecutor made the statements, he did not know the “facts regarding Skylar’s mental health, eating disorders and fears.”
According to the defense, a state’s forensic anthropologist retracted the first opinion and then the prosecution sought a second opinion.
“The second forensic anthropologist, who was retained by the prosecutor’s office, confirmed that Annabelle was not burned and confirmed there were ‘no signs of burning’ and no trauma ‘that could be related to the cause of death of this individual,’” the defense wrote in the motion. The second forensic anthropologist consulted is Dr. Krista Latham.
Oda has denied the motion for change of venue, ruling voir dire of the potential jurors will have to take place to determine if pre-trial publicity has had any impact on the jury pool.
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“Only after the voir dire process will the court and the parties be able to determine the impact, if any, of pretrial publicity. This issue will be revisited in the event a jury cannot be seated,” Oda wrote.
Oda previously issued a gag order stopping public comments by attorneys and parties involved in the case, but that ruling was overturned last week by the 12th District Court of Appeals.
Richardson remains free on a $50,000 bond and under court-ordered house arrest that was a condition of her release. Her trial is scheduled to begin in April.
Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell declined to comment on the case, and the prosecution will be filing a response soon.