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Murder trial underway for cheerleader accused of killing newborn & burying her in backyard after prom

The jury selection process has begun for an Ohio woman who’s accused of killing her newborn daughter and burying her in her parents’ backyard in 2017.

The Journal News reported that the prosecution and defense are eliminating potential jurors to create a 12-person jury that will decide Brooke Skylar Richardson’s fate. Richardson, 20, was charged with aggravated murder and involuntary manslaughter after her baby’s remains were recovered from the back of her parents’ Carlisle home.

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Richardson was 18 when she gave birth to a girl named Annabelle in May 2017. Richardson’s attorney, Charlie M. Rittgers, claimed her OB-GYN told her that she would give birth in eight to 10 weeks but she delivered 11 days later.

Meanwhile, assistant prosecutor Julie Kraft said the OB-GYN confronted Richardson about her baby when Richardson returned to refill her birth control. Kraft said the doctor contacted authorities—who dug up the baby’s skeletal remains two months later, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer.

While Richardson’s family claimed she had a stillborn, prosecutors said the baby was full-term and the teen—who hid her pregnancy—is responsible her death. Even as the high-profile trial looms, the newborn’s cause and manner of death remain a mystery.

Judge Donald Oda has repeatedly denied the defense’s bid to move the trial out of Warren County and wrote that potential jurors must be examined before he can determine whether “pre-trial publicity has had any impact on the jury pool,” according to The Journal-News.

Jury selection is expected to continue through Tuesday and could possibly conclude on Wednesday.

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[Featured image: Cara Owsley/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP, Pool]