20-year-old Brooke Skylar Richardson allegedly killed and buried her newborn daughter, Annabelle, in July 2017, reports Steve Helling of celebrity and human interest website People. Richardson, who is from Ohio, is now on her second week of trial for committing the crime. She was charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, and child endangerment charges. Richardson pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors presented “numerous interviews and text messages that she sent in the days after the baby died.” They alleged that Richardson, then 18, did not want to be a single mother “with college only a few months away.” Her attorney’s argued the baby was stillborn. Hence, it did not “meet the legal criteria to be considered a child.”
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Last week, the prosecution showed a text message Richardson sent to her boyfriend the morning after her daughter died. She wrote, “Last night was like the worst ever, but I feel so much better this morning. I’m happy.” The 20-year-old’s defense attorneys instructed the jury “not to read too much into the texts,” as she was just trying “to put on a happy face during a very stressful time.”
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According to Richardson’s attorneys, she buried her child’s remains in her parents’ backyard, stating that she did so after the baby was stillborn and she did not know what to do with the corpse. The baby’s cause of death remains inconclusive after its skeletal remains were found. Officials were unsure whether the newborn was burned. Richardson’s attorneys asserted that she “falsely admitted to burning the body” after authorities “had broken her down during questioning.”
Months after learning her pregnancy, the woman did not return for an ultrasound, bloodwork, or any treatment. Prosecutors mentioned that Richardson ignored calls from doctors and assistants. She did not return the calls because “she was scared,” as stated in a police interview played in court last Thursday.
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Richardson admitted to the police that she really did not want her baby. She considered getting an abortion, but it was too late. She also denied performing an abortion on herself. Additionally, Richardson allegedly searched “how do I get rid of a baby” when she found out she was pregnant. Richardson spoke softly during repeated questioning and appeared to cry when one of the detectives remarked, “Think how proud Annabelle would be to have you as a mom.”