Defense seeks new venue for Carlisle cheerleader in buried baby case


Attorneys for a Carlisle teen accused of killing her infant and then burning and burying the body in the backyard of her home filed a motion to have her trial moved from Warren County. The judge provided a strongly worded response.

Brooke Skylar Richardson, 18, is charged with aggravated murder and several other felonies. Prosecutors say the cheerleader gave birth to a baby girl on May 6 or 7, caused the baby’s death and then covered it up by burning and burying the newborn in the yard. She is free on $50,000 bond.

Charles H. Rittgers and Charles M. Rittgers filed a motion Friday for a change of venue to move the trial “for the reasons contained in the following memorandum.”

EXCLUSIVE: Prosecutor outlines challenges in Carlisle buried baby case

That memorandum apparently was four pages long and contained specifics of the case. Last year, Warren County Judge Donald Oda II issued a gag order prohibiting all parties involved in the case from making public statements about the case.

In his response to the change of venue motion, Oda said, “this case is not going to be tried in the press.”

Oda added in his response that the memorandum attached by the defense “is highly inflammatory and prejudicial to the administration of justice in this case.”

The judge said the defense memorandum “contained references to opinions of expert witnesses, who may or may not be called as witnesses at the trial of this matter and directly quotes at least one expert report …”

The filing was described by Oda as a “self-serving recitation of facts,” with characterization of the defendant’s mental state and other information that poses a “serious and imminent threat” to the jury pool.

MORE: We talked with both sides in Carlisle buried baby case before the gag order. Here’s what they said

The judge ordered the defense memorandum supporting the change of venue motion stricken from the record. Only pages 1 and 6 of that document, the request and attorneys’ signatures, is now part of the record.

Oda said the case will not be tried in the press, “nor will it be tried in the pleadings. It is particularly troubling that such an inflammatory and prejudicial memorandum would accompany a motion for change of venue.”

The judge then limited attorneys from making reference to multiple elements of the case, including the identity of prospective witnesses, information regarding the alleged victim, the possibility of agreed disposition between parties and any opinion or discussion of evidence.

MORE: Carlisle teen delivered stillborn baby and had eating disorder, family says

A pre-trial conference in the case is scheduled for Feb. 20. A hearing is set for March 14, and Richardson’s trial is scheduled to begin April 16.

Defense attorneys have said Richardson did not kill her baby. The prosecution previously said the baby was born alive. Warren County Coroner Dr. Russell Uptegrove has said the exact cause of death may never be known due to the condition of the remains.




Next Up in Crime

Proposed bill in California would provide a choice in driver's license photos
Proposed bill in California would provide a choice in driver's license photos

Have you ever met anyone who liked their driver’s license photo?  Of course not.  Photos on driver’s licenses always seem to show a person at his or her worst, but a bill proposed in the California state legislature would give drivers a choice, KABC reported. The bill would allow drivers to have multiple photos taken...
Teen admits to killing Tennessee couple, setting apartment on fire
Teen admits to killing Tennessee couple, setting apartment on fire

A Tennessee man was arrested in connection with the deaths of a Memphis couple who was found dead in an apartment that caught fire Thursday afternoon. Aareon Berryman, 18, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, aggravated arson, possession of marijuana with the intent to manufacture or sell, and possession...
Convicted murderer mistakenly released from jail 
Convicted murderer mistakenly released from jail 

The Georgia jail that mistakenly released a convicted murderer said no one will be disciplined for what happened. The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office realized a mistake was made after the murder victim's family saw the murderer on the streets. "Sounds like somebody didn't relay the right information or didn't look," one DeKalb County...
President Donald Trump admits to trying to hide his bald spot
President Donald Trump admits to trying to hide his bald spot

Over the years, much has been speculated about President Donald Trump’s hair, but he’s never admitted to having a reason for choosing his particular hairstyle other than the fact that it’s the way he “likes it.” However, on Friday, that all changed when he finally admitted to having a bald spot — and trying to hide...
Teen admits to killing Memphis couple, setting apartment on fire
Teen admits to killing Memphis couple, setting apartment on fire

An arrest has been made after a Memphis couple was found dead in an apartment that went up in flames Thursday afternoon. >> Read more trending news  Aareon Berryman, 18, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, especially aggravated robbery, aggravated arson, possession of marijuana with the intent to manufacture or sell...
More Stories