The jury in Brooke Skylar Richardson’s murder trial heard from the defendant for the first time on Thursday, as prosecutors played a video of her first interview with investigators.

Carlisle buried baby trial: First week full of testimony, compelling video

The murder trial of Brooke Skylar Richardson ended its first week Friday after four days of jury selection, opening statements, testimony and interrogation video.

Here’s what you need to know on what has happened so far:

4 days of activity

The trial started Tuesday with jury selection, continued Wednesday with opening statements and the start of testimony, and on Thursday included video of Richardson’s first interview with police, which featured her interactions with her parents in the interview room.

Friday was filled with medical testimony as both sides asked questions about the baby’s death and whether Richardson burned her baby.

The jury in Brooke Skylar Richardson’s murder trial heard from the defendant for the first time on Thursday, as prosecutors played a video of her first interview with investigators.

What are both sides arguing?

The prosecution is arguing that Richardson had her baby in secret in May 2017, killed her and buried her in her Carlisle backyard.

The defense is arguing that the baby was stillborn and that, as a scared teenager, Richardson buried her baby to conceal her from her family.

TRIAL COVERAGE

• Recap of Day 1Recap of Day 2Recap of Day 3 | Recap of Day 4

WATCH all videos from Brooke Skylar Richardson trial | Highlights, testimony, interrogations

• Stillborn or alive? That's the key issue in the Carlisle buried baby trial

• More than 2 years of twists and turns lead to Carlisle buried baby trial

• Who is Brooke Skylar Richardson?

Highlights of testimony

The baby’s father, Trey Johnson, confirmed the sexual relationship with her. He said Richardson never informed him she was pregnant, not even after the remains were found.

Dr. William Andrew, who first saw Richardson in April 2017 and told her she was pregnant, said she was very upset with the news.

“She (Richardson) said, ‘I can’t have a baby. I am going to college,” Andrew said.

Warren County Prosecuting Attorney David Fornshell stands in the courtroom, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, in Warren County Judge Donald Oda's II courtroom at Warren County Common Pleas Court in Lebanon, Ohio. Brooke "Skylar" Richardson, 20, is accused of killing and burying her baby in the backyard of her Carlisle home. Richardson is charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and child endangerment in the death of her newborn infant. She faces the possibility of life in prison. Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer/POOL
Photo: Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer

Dr. Casey Boyce said she confronted Richardson in July 2017 when she came to her office for birth control because she knew a colleague at her office had told her she was pregnant several months before.

“She started crying. She said, ‘I had it alone in my house and I buried it in my backyard,’” the doctor testified.

Dr. Susan Brown, a forensic pathologist for the Montgomery County Coroner's Office, testified about the autopsy and investigation. 

She said the cause of death for the baby is “homicidal violence,” but the exact cause of death cannot be determined because of the condition of the remains. On cross examination, she said she cannot determine if the baby suffered injuries before death or if she was stillborn, based on the remains.

 

Compelling interview video

Thursday’s viewing of Richardson’s first interview with police showed her crying and continuing to tell investigators that she did not kill her baby. She also continues to ask if she is in trouble.

Her parents are allowed to enter the room and tell her they wished she would have told them she was pregnant.

“This is the single worst possible scenario you could have put us in,” her father, Scott Richardson, says.

READ MORE: Jury watches Richardson’s interrogation video

Brooke “Skylar” Richardson, center, talks with defense attorney Charles M. Rittgers, left, and her father, Scott, right, in the courtroom at the conclusion of the day’s proceedings, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, in Warren County Judge Donald Oda’s II courtroom at Warren County Common Pleas Court in Lebanon, Ohio. Richardson, 20, is accused of killing and burying her baby in the backyard of her Carlisle home. Richardson is charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and child endangerment in the death of her newborn infant. She faces the possibility of life in prison.
Photo: Staff Writer