‘It was not a live birth’: Second juror speaks about Brooke Skylar Richardson verdict

After eight days sitting in the front row of the jury box for the Brooke Skylar Richardson case, Gary Lamb said prosecutors didn’t present convincing evidence that Richardson’s baby was born alive, which led to her acquittal on the most serious charges in her high-profile trial.

Richardson, who was accused of killing a baby she had in secret and burying her in her Carlisle backyard, was acquitted of charges of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangering on Thursday after the eight-day trial.

She was convicted of abuse of a corpse and was sentenced Friday by Judge Donald Oda II to three years of community control and seven days in jail, but she received credit for time served and was released after court.

Lamb was in the courtroom Friday morning for Richardson’s sentencing hearing in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

“I’m stressed out after going through that ordeal for eight days,” he said. “It was very exhausting to take in all of that information, retain it and make a decision. It really was mentally exhausting.”


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Lamb, of Pleasant Plain, said he knew nothing about the case until he was called for jury duty and had to put everything in his life on hold for the past two weeks.

He said the prosecutors didn’t have evidence that the baby was born alive. Lamb also believes prosecutors “severely overcharged” Richardson.

Lamb also feels investigators misled Scott Richardson, Richardson’s father, about the need for a second interview to answer a couple of questions. That interview lasted for a few hours.

“You can’t prosecute someone on your own opinion,” Lamb said. “You have to have the facts. It would have been different if (prosecutors presented) better evidence.”


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He said a pathologist from Indiana who testified in Richardson’s defense “did an awesome job.”

“She is one of a hundred people with that level of education in the world,” he said. “She had instant credibility.”

During the deliberations, Lamb said the “whole jury set their emotions aside and went strictly by the law.”

“We didn’t deliberate long on the (aggravated) murder charge, and we could not convict on (some of) the other charges because it was not a live birth,” he said.

Lamb still believes Richardson’s baby was a stillborn. He said if it was a natural birth, once the baby takes its first breath, it cries and screams.

“On the abuse of a corpse charge, we deliberated for a couple of hours and sent a question to the judge,” Lamb said.


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The jury asked Oda if it is against the law to bury a baby. Oda advised the jury they had sufficient information in their instructions. Lamb said they convicted Richardson on the fifth-degree felony abuse of corpse charge because there are only certain people by law who have authority to deal with a corpse.

During the sentencing hearing, it became known that Richardson weighed 89 pounds.

“When I first saw Skylar in the courtroom, I thought, ‘How could she have a baby because she’s so small?’” he said.


After the sentencing, Lamb said he was happy for the Richardson family. He said he was saddened at first for what the family had gone through.

“(Friday) was positive and upbeat for this kid, who is finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel,” Lamb said.

He also said he was happy that the remains of the baby, whom Richardson named Annabelle, will stay with the Richardson family.

“They have made arrangements to bury the remains. I’m glad the judge leaned that way,” Lamb said.

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