Carlisle teen mom bonds out of jail, attorney says she did not kill baby

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Carlisle teen charged with killing baby

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

UPDATE @ 5:22 p.m. (Aug. 7):

The attorney for the woman whose newborn's remains were buried outside her Ohio home says the 18-year-old who has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder and other charges "did not kill her baby,” reports the Associated Press.

Attorney Charles M. Rittgers also said Monday the defense is waiting to receive evidence the prosecutor claims supports the indictment of Brooke Skylar Richardson.

MORE: Five things to know about the case

Richardson pleaded not guilty Monday in a Warren County court in Lebanon. She was indicted Friday on charges that also include involuntary manslaughter, child endangering, evidence tampering and corpse abuse.

Bond was set at $50,000, and she was released on house arrest with electronic monitoring Monday.

The prosecutor alleges the baby was born alive and that Richardson "purposely caused" the baby's death and then burned and buried the infant.

UPDATE @ 3:43 p.m. (Aug. 7):

Brooke Skylar Richardson is out of jail tonight after posting bond at the Warren County Jail today following her arraignment.

PHOTOS:  Brooke Skylar Richardson court appearance

UPDATE @ 11:00 a.m. (Aug. 7):

Brooke Skylar Richardson made her first appearance in Warren County Common Pleas court just days after she was indicted for aggravated murder and four other felonies connected to the death of her newborn baby.

MORE: Coroner: Sex of baby cannot be determined in Carlisle case 

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RAW: Buried baby case

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Richardson pleaded not guilty to the charges during her arraignment Monday morning.

Her bond was set at $50,000.

UPDATE @ 1:51 a.m. (Aug. 7)

Brooke Skylar Richardson is scheduled to be arraigned in Warren County Common Pleas Court today.

EARLIER REPORT

A Carlisle teen has been indicted on aggravated murder and four other felony charges after prosecutors say she killed her newborn baby and then burned the child’s body just two days after her senior prom.

  • Brooke Skylar Richardson, 18, was taken into custody Friday afternoon
  • A Warren County grand jury indicted her on charges of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, endangering children, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse
  • Investigators say Richardson gave birth and killed the newborn sometime between May 6-7

County Prosecutor David Fornshell said at a news conference that despite the charge of aggravated murder Richardson would not face the death penalty if convicted. If convicted, aggravated murder could carry 20 years to life in prison or life in prison without parole.

MORE: Coroner: Sex of baby cannot be determined in Carlisle case 

Fornshell said that two days after the Carlisle High School prom, that sometime between May 6 and May 7, Richardson gave birth to the newborn and caused the child’s death. She reportedly burned the infant and buried the infant in her backyard, Fornshell said.

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Brooke Richardson leaves court

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

According to Fornshell, everything occurred over a period of a few hours after the baby was born. He said the baby was born at about 38 weeks to 40 weeks — full term. Carlisle police were notified July 14 by Richardson’s OB-GYN’s office about a possible stillborn baby, Fornshell said.

MORE: Investigators search 3 times in 10 days in Carlisle baby remains case 

“We may never know the medical cause of the baby’s death,” he said.

Fornshell declined to speculate on motive, but said it was a perception issue and the teen’s mother was concerned about appearances.

He said the evidence that has been obtained indicates that “this was something that would not be accepted.”

MORE: Could Ohio cheerleader have used safe haven law to give up baby? 

Fornshell estimated that many people in Carlisle knew Richardson was pregnant at some point prior to the birth through social media.

RELATED: Warren County buried baby case: 7 things we know now

The identity of the father and whether any others were involved in the child’s death remains under investigation, Fornshell said. He said the search warrants will continue to be sealed in order to not reveal what was found and seized during searches at her home in the 100-block of Eagle Ridge Court.

“There are a lot of questions our office still has,” Fornshell said.

The prosecutor’s office believes it knows who the father is but said DNA tests many be needed to determine the identity.

Fornshell said the most difficult part of this case for him, is why the newborn baby wasn’t just driven to a fire station and dropped off it it was an unwanted pregnancy. Under Ohio’s safe haven law, a woman who does not want to keep her baby can take it to any police or fire station with no questions asked.

Richardson, a cheerleader who graduated this year from Carlisle High School, was planning to attend the University of Cincinnati this fall, her lawyer Charles M. Rittgers has said. Rittgers did not return a request for comment on Friday.

Investigators have conducted three separate searches in a 10-day period this month before charging her with reckless homicide.

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell is provided a live update.

A five-count indictment was handed down today for Richardson.

Those counts were for aggravated murder, a special felony; involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony; endangering children, a third-degree felony; tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony; and gross abuse of a corpse, a fifth-degree felony, Fornshell said.

Richardson was booked at 3:30 p.m. without bond into the Warren County Jail.

Brooke Skylar Richardson: senior picture (left); Warren County Jail mugshot
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Brooke Skylar Richardson: senior picture (left); Warren County Jail mugshot

The general allegations are that some time between May 6 and May 7, Richardson gave birth to the newborn and caused the death. She reportedly burned the infant and buried the infant in her backyard, Fornshell said.

This is not a death penalty case, he added.

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New details emerge in Carlisle buried baby case

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

It’s believed the baby only was alive for hours. The baby was born at about 38 weeks to 40 weeks — just days after the teen’s high school prom.

Fornshell said he didn’t want to speculate on motive, but continued to say it was a perception issue and the teen’s mother was concerned about appearances. He estimated about half of Carlisle knew Richardson was pregnant prior to the birth.

Fornshell said any involvement of others is still under investigation.

“There are a lot of questions our office still has,” Fornshell said.

The prosecutor’s office believes it knows the baby’s father.

“I’m not going to play a game of Maury Povich up here,” Fornshell said.

If convicted, aggravated murder could carry 20 years to life in prison or life in prison without parole.

Fornshell said the most difficult part of this case for him, is why the newborn baby wasn’t just driven to a fire station and dropped off it it was an unwanted pregnancy.

“In her (Brooke’s) mind this was something that was not going to be accepted,” Fornshell said. “People would be clamoring for (that baby).”

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Brooke Richardson attorney Charlie Rittgers talks about his client after court appearance

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Warren County Coroner Dr. Russell Uptegrove said earlier that his office was not able to determine the sex of the infant from the remains, which are two months old.

The case became public July 14 when investigators, acting on a tip from a doctor’s office that a Carlisle teenager may have delivered a stillborn infant. Investigators later found an infant’s remains buried in the backyard at Richardson’s residence in the 100 block of Eagle Ridge Drive.