A Carlisle woman found not guilty of killing her baby following a highly publicized two-week trial in September broke her silence in a Cosmopolitan Magazine interview that was published Monday.
Brooke Skylar Richardson, 20, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, murder, endangering children and abuse of a corpse for allegedly harming her infant in May 2017, then burying her daughter in her parent’s backyard.
The defense maintained the baby was stillborn just hours after Richardson attended the Carlisle High School prom. Richardson, then 18, delivered the baby alone in the upstairs bathroom and told no one.
In the magazine interview, Richardson said: “My biggest regret is not having the strength to tell someone that I was pregnant. I wish I would have done it differently. I’m plagued by guilt every day for not telling someone.”
According to the article written by Sonia Chopra, Richardson told a friend she misses her baby she named Annabelle.
Richardson said in the interview she named the baby before burying her.
“I decided to call her Annabelle. I didn’t know anyone with that name, so I knew whenever I heard it, it would remind me of my baby girl,” she told the reporter.
Richardson talked about dealing with depression and how she steered clear of social media that was full of opinions and hurtful comments.
“I spent a lot of my time depressed,” Richardson said. “Every night, I would lie down and wish that I could have died in place of Annabelle. It was so hard to live knowing the truth but to have the whole world think otherwise. The people out there who hate me so much and wish horrible things upon me also do not know me.”
Richardson said she has applied for more than 40 jobs and was unsuccessful in finding employment until she was hired by the law firm of attorneys Charles H. Rittgers and Charles W. Rittgers, who defended her.
According to the article, Richardson does general office tasks.
“Having the responsibility of a job has given me a purpose again,” she said. “Everyone treats me so kindly and with respect. It helped give me back some of the confidence I lacked.”
While the prosecution used admissions Richardson made to police during lengthy interrogations, text messages and other circumstantial evidence to try to make a case for a teen who was obsessed with being perfect as a motive, they could not prove a cause of death of the baby or that she had been born alive because the body had been in the ground for three months.
After four hours of deliberation, the jury found Richardson guilty of abuse of a corpse. Warren County Common Pleas Judge Donald Oda II sentenced Richardson to three years probation.
In the courtroom for much of the trial and the sentencing was the family of the baby’s father, Trey Johnson. He testified during the trial about the brief relationship he had with Richardson.
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.