Brooke Skylar Richardson is on trial in Warren County Common Pleas Court, accused of killing and burying her baby in her parents’ Carlisle backyard in 2017.
The case has drawn national attention in the more than two years between the alleged incident and the trial beginning.
Here are some key things to know about Richardson and the case:
1. Was a high school senior when the alleged incident happened
Richardson, a former cheerleader who planned to attend the University of Cincinnati, gave birth on or about May 6 or 7, 2017, just days after her senior prom, then buried the baby the defense says she named Annabelle in the backyard and apparently told no one.
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2. How the case originated
A call in July 2017 from a doctor’s office to Carlisle police about a possible stillborn baby led investigators to the Eagle Ridge Drive house of Brooke Skylar Richardson.
Remains of a baby were found in the backyard of the residence where the then-18-year-old high school senior lived with her parents and brother.
3. What charges she faces
Richardson was indicted on the charges she now faces at trial: aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, child endangering, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. She could serve a 20 years to life in prison if convicted for aggravated murder.
4. What the defense says
The defense team of Charles H. and Charles M. Rittgers say the baby was stillborn and Richardson, who was scared and suffered from an eating disorder, did nothing to harm the child. She took the the stillborn child and buried it, they said.MORE: Warren County prosecutor: There are challenges in buried baby case
“She didn’t drink. She wasn’t a partier or a smoker. By all measures a very good girl who helped children … She’s by all means a very good person,” Charles M. Rittgers said after Richardson’s arraignment in municipal court in 2017.
5. What the prosecution says
Warren County prosecutors say the baby was alive when she was born at about 38 weeks to 40 weeks. The cause of death remains a question.“We may never know the medical cause of the baby’s death,” said Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell at a press conference after the indictment was announced.
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