An appeals court in Ohio has ruled that a doctor can testify against a woman facing murder charges related to the death of her newborn last year.
According to WXIX, Skylar Richardson’s defense attorneys had attempted to block the testimony from Casey Boyce, the obstetrician-gynecologist believed to be the source of a police tip that the newborn victim was buried in the teen’s backyard.
As CrimeOnline has previously reported, Richardson is a former high school cheerleader who was 18 when she allegedly killed her newborn child, burned the body in backyard fire pit, and buried the remains.
The three-judge panel hearing the recent motion cited relevant state law, ruling that the doctor’s testimony would be consistent with existing precedent.
“In considering the competing interests, we fail to see how applying the privilege to Richardson’s statements and reactions furthers the purposes of the physician-patient privilege above the interest of the public in directing crimes in order to protect society,” the decision stated.
Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell heralded the decision as a win in making the case against the defendant.
“We’re obviously very happy that the court of appeals rejected the defense’s attempt to keep the jury from hearing about statements and reactions that the defendant made during those doctor appointments, which go to the central issue of whether she ever had any intention of having that baby,” he said.
Boyce’s testimony was one of the issues delaying a criminal trial against Richardson, which had initially been slated to begin in April.
The latest update in the case offered no updated timeline for the trial. She was indicted on criminal charges including aggravated murder, gross abuse of a corpse, involuntary manslaughter, child endangerment, and tampering with evidence.
[Featured image: Warren County Sheriff’s Office]