Ohio Woman Acquitted of Killing Baby Is Found Guilty of Abuse of Corpse as Lawyers Reveal Next Move

Brooke Skylar Richardson breaks down in tears, says 'I love you' to parents
September 12, 2019 Updated: September 12, 2019

An attorney for the Ohio woman acquitting of killing her newborn revealed the next steps in the case.

Brooke Skylar Richardson, 20, was acquitted on three of the four most serious charges in the case, including aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, and child endangering, according to WHIO, a local station.

However, she was charged with abuse of a corpse. Reports said that she could face one year in prison.

When the verdict was read, she broke down in tears. She said, “I love you” to her parents, The Journal-News reported.

Brooke Skylar Richardson photo
Brooke Skylar Richardson, charged with killing and burying her newborn daughter, arrives for a scheduled conference with the court in Lebanon, Ohio, on Dec. 14, 2017. (Nick Graham/The Journal-News via AP)

Her attorneys Charles H. and Charles M. Rittgers issued a statement after the verdict was rendered by the jury of seven women and five men.

“This is … well, as her attorney, and knowing other cases throughout the country, this was well over-charged from the get go,” Charles H. Rittgers told the station.

They were asked about what will happen to her moving forward.

Former high school Cheerleader Brooke Skylar Richardson Ohio
A file photo of former high school Cheerleader Brooke Skylar Richardson, then 19, who was charged with aggravated murder and other offenses at the Warren County Courthouse in Lebanon, Ohio, on April 12, 2018. (Cara Owsley/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

“She has worked in our office since this came up, and hopefully she’ll be able to go to college,” Charles H. Rittgers also stated.

She started classes and finished one semester at Sinclair Community College, he also said.

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said the inability to determine the child’s cause of death was a key point for the jury.

“I think unfortunately that probably played a major factor in the outcome we saw today,” Fornshell said.

Fornshell said that he suspects that Richardson killed the child.

Brooke Skylar Richardson in court
Brooke Skylar Richardson makes her first court appearance in Franklin Municipal Court in Franklin, Ohio, on July 21, 2017. (FOX19 NOW/Michael Buckingham via AP)

“I do believe she killed her child,” Fornshell said. “I understand there are proof issues.”

He added later, “That baby deserved for us to go in there and fight.”

Prosecutors said that the high school cheerleader was trying to keep her “perfect life” and hid her pregnancy from her parents. She then buried the child in her parents’ backyard in May 2017 around the time of her senior prom, Fox8 reported.

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