To the outrage of many, an Ohio judge modified the house arrest of a teen accused of burning and burying her newborn daughter outside her parents’ home after giving birth.
Warren County Common Pleas Judge Donald Oda II ended Brooke Richardson’s house arrest late last month but ordered that she be tracked with a GPS monitor and imposed a curfew. According to the Journal-News, Oda noted in his ruling that Richardson, 19, has no prior criminal record, has “significant ties” to the community, has passed all her drug tests, and has been present for every court hearing and status conference.
Richardson allegedly told police that she gave birth to a stillborn, named Annabelle, in May 2017 and buried her near a fire pit outside her parents’ Carlisle home. Prosecutors believe, however, that the then-18-year-old had killed and burned her newborn daughter before burying her.
Documents obtained by The New York Post stated that Richardson told an OB-GYN about giving birth to a stillborn more than two months after giving birth, which prompted the doctor to contact police. Officers reportedly recovered the skeletal remains July 14 while executing a search warrant.
“You have a situation where she’s a cute recent high school graduate. She was a cheerleader. She was described as a good girl by her attorney, as you heard after the arraignment, and I think that kind of perception is one that Skylar wanted to perpetuate,” Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell commented.
Despite their discovery, Fornshell also said the condition of the remains could make it impossible to determine an exact cause of death. To this day, it’s unclear how the newborn died.
Following the end of her house arrest—and with a murder trial approaching—residents have taken to social media to report sightings and express frustration over Richardson possibly receiving preferential treatment.
The Post reported that some are going as far as taking photos of the accused baby killer outside her home and posting the images to Facebook. Others are comparing the Ohio teen to Casey Anthony, the Florida mother found not guilty of murdering her toddler daughter Caylee.
“There was a bunch of drama from the leader driving by and taking pictures and posting things and a lot of them were like, ‘That’s not cool,’” a member of Justice For Baby (Annabelle) in Carlisle, Ohio, told The Post.
One resident has spent a year tracking Richardson’s every move, according to the Daily Mail.
“It’s definitely over the top,” said Kiley Alcorn, Richardson’s friend who attends Carlisle High School. “People are camping outside her house and taking pictures of her. The way people are reacting to it, especially adults, and the whole situation is sad.”
Richardson is charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, endangering children, tampering with evidence, and abuse of a corpse.
The Journal-News reported that an April 16 trial was postponed as the 12th District Court of Appeals makes a ruling regarding medical records. A new trial date hasn’t been set.
[Featured image: Brooke Richardson/FOX19 NOW/Michael Buckingham via AP]