Former Cheerleader Suspected of Killing Her Baby Suffers From Anorexia Says Lawyer

July 17, 2019 Updated: July 17, 2019

A lawyer acting for a former cheerleader who is accused of killing and burying her infant in Ohio, revealed on July 15 his client suffers from multiple eating disorders.

Personal injury attorney Charles M. Rittgers confirmed with the Cincinnati Enquirer that former high school cheerleader Skylar Richardson, 20, has received mental health support from counselors for her anorexia and bulimia conditions that have allegedly reduced her body weight to 82 pounds.

“They are holding up and coping the best they can,” Rittgers said about the Richardson family, according to the Enquirer.

The attorney made the remark when Richardson appeared for a procedural hearing at the Warren County Common Pleas Court in Lebanon, northwest of Cincinnati.

The woman is scheduled to face trial on Sept. 3 for the May 2017 death of her newborn infant in the backyard of her parents’ home in Carlisle, 47 miles north of Cincinnati.

When police found what appeared to be baby remains two months later, Richardson was charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, and child endangerment. If convicted her penalty could be life in prison, according to the Enquirer.

Richardson has pleaded not guilty and her legal counsel indicated there was no plea deal up for consideration, according to The Associated Press.

At the hearing Warren County Judge Donald Oda II asked all parties for a status report, to which they unanimously replied they were preparing for the trial.

The judge is planning to hold another pretrial hearing in late August.

Richardson’s attorneys are requesting a ruling to bar prosecutors from presenting an obstetrics-gynecology practice’s medical staff member’s testimony because their client will not waive her physician-patient privilege. However, prosecutors claim the privilege does not apply in this murder case.

Prosecutors accuse Richardson of burying the full-term infant shortly after giving birth and within days after her senior prom.

“Skylar and her family, particularly her mother, were pretty obsessed with external appearances and how things appeared to the outside world,” County Prosecutor David Fornshell said, according to AP. “You have a situation where, you know, she’s a cute high school, recent high school graduate; she was a cheerleader 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 and her mother wanted to perpetuate.”

Her defense attorneys argue the baby was stillborn, meaning their client did not kill it. They claim an expert witness concluded there was no sign of burning or of trauma that would have caused the baby’s death.

The case has caused a social media frenzy, with two community Facebook pages set up with information about the court case. Some critics of the family have posted videos and photos of the family and their home with sharp commentary, according to AP.

Richardson’s attorneys blame the unwanted attention on prosecutors for introducing a “false narrative” that sensationalized the case.

“What started as an 18-year-old high school girl who was frightened and saddened because of giving birth to a stillborn baby, whom she named Annabelle, and then telling her doctor of the stillborn and burial in the backyard, turned into something sinister and grotesque,” they said in a motion to move the trial, according to AP.