Ohio v Richardson: Skyler Richardson Found Not Guilty of Murder

Benjamin Olsen | @benpleasestop

UPDATE [3:53 EDT]:

After 4 hours, the Jury has reached a verdict in the case of Skylar Richardson. She is being charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, endangering children, and abuse of a corpse. On the count of Aggravated murder, the jury finds her not guilty. On the count of involuntary manslaughter, the jury finds her not guilty. On the count of endangering a child, the jury finds her not guilty. On the count of abuse of a corpse, the just finds her guilty. Richardson was handcuffed and lead out of the courtroom to await sentencing tomorrow. Ohio code 2927.01 states the following:

(A) No person, except as authorized by law, shall treat a human corpse in a way that the person knows would outrage reasonable family sensibilities.
(B) No person, except as authorized by law, shall treat a human corpse in a way that would outrage reasonable community sensibilities.
(C) Whoever violates division (A) of this section is guilty of abuse of a corpse, a misdemeanor of the second degree. Whoever violates division (B) of this section is guilty of gross abuse of a corpse, a felony of the fifth degree.

Ms. Richardson’s conviction on charge 4 carries with it a sentence of 6-12 months in prison. As she was being handcuffed, Skylar’s mom, Kim Richardson standing next to her husband, reassured her daughter saying “We love you so much.” Sentencing will be carried out tomorrow.

In a courtroom in Ohio, a 20-year-old woman stands trial. Brooke “Skylar” Richardson stands accused of murdering her daughter in her own home. Richardson became pregnant when she was just 17 years old. With a history of eating disorders, Richardson went through her pregnancy unaware of the growing baby inside of her. Finally, with growing suspicions, she went to her OB-GYN. The pregnancy gave her little time to react, as just 11 days later she gave birth in her home, family asleep. Richardson told no one she was pregnant as she feared losing the approval of her mother and family. She claims that the baby was stillborn. Afraid of authority figures, she quickly hid the evidence and buried baby Annabelle in her backyard. 

Ohio v Richardson: An Imminent Verdict

After going back to the OB-GYN, the doctor was shocked to find that Richardson was without her child. Claims of a stillborn fell on deaf ears as the doctor immediately called the police. Through further investigation, police discovered the grave of Richardson’s baby. They immediately dragged Richardson into an interrogation room, ignoring her assertion that the baby was stillborn. After a lengthy interrogation, Richardson confessed, but to what, exactly? She merely stated, “I didn’t think she was breathing, I think I squeezed too hard.”

Related Post: “Ohio v Richardson: Guilty of Burying Her Baby

The trial heard closing arguments today as Defense Attorney Charles Rittgers insisted the prosecution’s case had reasonable doubt.

The prosecution continued with a metaphor of a puzzle and circumstantial evidence. Both attorneys gave it their all, but with the prosecution’s case based entirely on circumstantial evidence, the defense is likely to win the case. Judge Donald Oda gave the jury their instructions. That’s where the case stands now; the jury is in the deliberation room as a 20-year-old woman, railroaded by police, waits on a jury of her peers to decide her fate.

Other Updates:

2:33 PM EDT: The jury asked a question on the charge of abuse of a body. “Is it against the LAW [sic] to bury a body in your yard without knowledge?” Judge Oda’s response was as follows: “The court cannot provide you with any other or alternative legal definitions in the case”. Both the defense and prosecution concurred.

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