Ex-Cheerleader Accused of Killing Newborn Blew off Doctors' Calls, Didn't Have Ultrasound: Prosecutors
Ohio prosecutors say the former cheerleader accused of burying the burned remains of her newborn baby in 2017 never returned for an ultrasound, blood work or any other treatment after learning she was pregnant, according to multiple news reports.
Brooke Skylar Richardson, now 19, is charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and child endangerment. She has pleaded not guilty and is free on bond.
At a hearing before the 12th District Court of Appeals on Tuesday concerning whether Richardson’s doctors should be allowed to testify in her trial, prosecutors alleged that her reaction to hearing she was pregnant showed she never wanted to become a mom, reports local TV station WLWT.
“Her reaction to the confirmation that she was pregnant was extreme. It was over-the-top,” said assistant prosecutor Kirsten Brandt.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Richardson allegedly didn’t return to the doctor’s office for an ultrasound or blood work — and that she ignored calls from both doctors and assistants, prosecutors contended.
“She does nothing to prepare for this baby coming into the world,” Brandt reportedly said.
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Brandt also said Richardson’s doctor “specifically told the defendant, ‘If you have any feelings that you are going to hurt this baby, you need to let us know that immediately,’ ” WLWT reports.
Richardson’s defense attorney, Charlie H. Rittgers, told the Enquirer after the hearing, “The prosecutor is fabricating,” adding, “It’s just not true that Skylar Richardson had no intention of having a baby.”
PEOPLE’s call to Rittgers was not immediately returned on Friday.
Richardson’s attorneys have reportedly admitted she buried the child’s remains in her parents backyard. But they say she only did so after the baby was stillborn and she didn’t know what to do with the remains, the Enquirer reports.
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According to the Journal-News, the case came before the appeals court because the question of whether Richardson’s doctors should be allowed to testify at trial is up in the air, with Richardson’s attorneys contending her statements to her doctor are protected by doctor-patient privilege.
Both sides have appealed the trial judge’s split decision on the admissibility of Richardson’s statements to doctors.
She was set to attend the University of Cincinnati before her arrest. The Carlisle native graduated with honors from high school, and prosecutors have contended her good reputation led to her alleged crime.
“She was described as a good girl, and I think that perception is one that Skylar wanted to perpetuate,” Warren County, Ohio, Prosecutor David Fornshell told reporters at a 2017 news conference, before a judge placed a gag order on the case.
The three-judge panel hearing the appeal has 60 days to issue a decision, the Journal-News reports.
Richardson is under house arrest, but can leave her house if she returns home by 9 p.m.