LEBANON, Ohio (WDTN) – Brooke Skylar Richardson remains in jail ahead of her sentencing Friday morning. Richardson was found guilty on one count of abuse of a corpse. A crime like that could result in a sentence ranging from probation to 1 year in jail.
Richardson was also found not guilty of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, and endangering children.
Three years after probation, Richardson could become eligible to remove the charges from her record.
Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell admits the state had a tough time proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the baby was killed.
“Because she buried this baby and because of this decomposition and nobody was told for the next two months, it’s impossible for me to tell you whether it was strangled, drowned or suffocated,” explained Fornshell.
Richardson initially admitted to police to burning her baby; however, no medical evidence was ever confirmed. The defense claimed her admission to the burning was coerced.
“I believe that the jury saw through that and determined that whatever she said during those interrogations could not be relied upon,” Charlie Rittgers, Richardson’s defense attorney, said.
But prosecutor Fornshell is defending his decision to file charges, including murder, and taking Richardson to trial.
“This was a case that we strongly believed deserved to be heard by a jury. We felt like we owed it to that baby girl,” Fornshell said.
While Richardson is now cleared on three of the four charges, her attorney says the years-long ordeal will still take a toll.
“Hopefully this can be pushed further in her past but even an acquittal on all four counts would be something that Skylar is going to have to live with for the rest of her life,” Charles M. Rittgers who was also on Richardson’s defense team said.