WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- While Brooke Skylar Richardson stands accused of killing her newborn daughter in 2017, prosecutors and defense attorneys are still determining whether the baby was dead or alive after delivery.
- However, Richardson contradicted her previous statements to police that her baby was dead, by saying in a video shown to court on Monday, that she believed her baby was alive for some minutes.
- Her lawyers maintained that because the baby was stillborn, she is not deemed a baby.
A former Ohio cheerleader faces her second week in trial for allegedly murdering and burying her newborn daughter, prosecutors and defense lawyers are arguing on whether the baby was still breathing or dead after birth.
Brooke Skylar Richardson is accused of killing her newborn child in July 2017 and burying her afterwards in her parent’s backyard. Her lawyers asserted that the baby didn’t meet the criteria to be considered a child because it was stillborn.
In Richardson’s initial statements with the police, she said that the baby was dead after delivery.
However, on a video played in court on Monday morning, Richardson told the police that the baby had fallen into the toilet when she was born. Furthermore, Richardson said the baby, whom she named Annabelle, may have been alive for five minutes because she might have heard her crying.
Now 20 years old, Richardson has pleaded not guilty for charges of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and child endangerment.
The cause of death was inconclusive when the baby’s skeletal remains were found. It also remains unclear whether Annabelle’s body had been burned. Her lawyers also allege that she falsely admitted to burning the body after breaking down before police during interrogation.
Prosecutors claim that Richardson, who didn’t want to be a mom at 18, didn’t go for an ultrasound or any other treatment and ignored calls from doctors.
At the time, Richardson claimed she didn’t heed doctor’s calls because she was scared and didn’t know what to do. “I didn’t really want to have my baby,” she told police in the interview video played in court last Thursday, admitting that though she looked into abortion, it was already too late to have one. She also denied performing an abortion by herself.
Although prosecutors allege that the former cheerleader deliberately killed her baby, Richardson’s attorneys, who repeatedly confirmed that she buried the child’s remains in her backyard, insisted that she only did so after the baby was stillborn.
Prosecutor David Fornshell said police interviews that ‘fully support the charges against Richardson,’ will be presented to the jury.
Testimony is expected to continue until next week.