Brooke Skylar Richardson, an ex-cheerleader who was accused of killing her newborn child in 2017, has been acquitted or murder. The verdict was announced on Thursday, September 12, according to WLWT-5 News.
The now 20-year-old Richardson was facing charges but was only found guilty of abuse of a corpse while being found not guilty of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangering.
Richardson faces up to one year in prison but could receive only time-served and probation as a first-time offender.
Richardson secretly gave birth when she was just 17-years-old in Carlisle, Ohio and buried the remains in her family’s backyard just two days after her high school prom. Her defense argued that the baby was stillborn, while prosecutors said that there was circumstantial evidence pointing towards murder.
By the time the child’s remains were found, they were skeletal and a medical expert for the prosecution argued there were punctures in the baby’s skull but a specific cause of death could not be determined because of its condition. They also argued the remains were burned, though no accelerant was found at the burial site.
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If convicted on all charges, Richardson would have faced life in prison.
While the prosecutors pointed towards a confession where Richardson admitted that the newborn may have moved and/or made noises, her defense argued that she was “a vulnerable, immature person whose dependent personality disorder makes her want to please authority figures, even to the point of making incriminating statements that were untrue.”
The remains of the child, who she named “Annabelle,” were found in July 2017.
That is all the information that is available at this time. This article will be updated with new and relevant information should it become available at any time. If there is anything that we missed, please feel free to send an email to [email protected] and we will respond as soon as possible.