Skylar Richardson trial comes to emotional ending with sentencing

Local News

LEBANON, Ohio (WDTN) – Skylar Richardson spoke for the first time during her two weeks in court, addressing Judge Donald Oda before he gave her three years probation and community control.

Richardson said she was sorry repeatedly as she looked across the courtroom toward the prosecution, as well as the family of Trey Johnson, who was the baby’s father.

Richardson was found guilty on Thursday for abuse of a corpse for burying her newborn baby in her family’s backyard in May 2017. She was charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment and found not guilty on all three of those counts.

Tracy Johnson, the mother of Trey Johnson, spoke for the prosecution as a victim’s advocate for Annabelle Richardson, the name Skylar gave her baby after it was born.

“Two years, four months, one week, in case you were wondering, that’s how old my grandaughter would have been if she were here today,” Johnson said. “None of it fits the amount of pain I’ve felt that I never got to know my grandaughter.”

“We are as much her family as Skylar.”

Assistant prosecutor Steve Knippen wanted her to receive six months of jail time.

“The court is aware of the facts,” Knippen said. “She never intended for anyone to know the baby existed. As a result of that conduct, the state asks if you would impose six months of local jail time.”

The penalty for abuse of a corpse is 12 months maximum, but because Richardson has no prior criminal record, the maximum penalty she could serve would have been six months in jail.

Charles H. Rittgers asked the judge to consider her medical condition and her eating disorder.

He said Richardson weighed 83 pounds and was losing hair. Her mother took her to her pediatrician after Rittgers advised her to have her potassium checked. Her doctor then had her sent to the emergency room.

Oda ordered the remains of Annabelle returned to the Richardson family. He asked Scott Richardson to make a proper burial and to include the Johnson family in access to the burial plot.

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