Cheerleader Who Hid Pregnancy, Buried Infant In Backyard Is Acquitted Of Murder

Brooke Skylar Richardson was sentenced to three years of probation on Friday.

Carlisle, OH – A former high school cheerleader accused of murdering her infant daughter and secretly burying her in her family’s back yard has been sentenced to three years of probation.

Brooke Skylar Richardson, 20, will serve no time in jail in connection with the death of her daughter, who she named “Annabelle,” the Journal-News reported.

A Warren County jury acquitted Richardson on charges of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated murder, and child endangering on Thursday.

The jury convicted Richardson of a single count of abuse of a corpse.

Had she been convicted on all charges, she could have faced a potential life sentence, FOX News reported.

Prosecutors said they suspect the acquittals hinged on the fact that they were unable to pinpoint the newborn’s exact cause of death, according to the Journal-News.

She was sentenced to three years of probation on Friday.

According to prosecutors, Richardson was a high school senior who was determined to maintain her “perfect life,” even after she learned she was pregnant in April of 2017, FOX News reported.

By that time, she was approximately eight months into her pregnancy, Assistant Warren County Prosecutor Julie Kraft told the jury, according to WXIX.

“Upon learning she was pregnant, Brooke burst into tears and told her doctor she could not have this child and she could not tell anyone about being pregnant,” Kraft said. “And Brooke told no one. She did not tell her parents, her friends, or the baby’s father.”

Richardson gave birth to the daughter in the middle of the night on May 7, 2017, just days before her senior prom.

Although her parents and brother were all sleeping inside the same home at the time, she did not reach out to them, prosecutors said.

“Brooke took her own daughter’s life, destroyed all evidence of her birth, and buried her in the backyard,” Kraft told the jury, according to WXIX. “For over two months, in the summer of 2017, the body of Brooke’s daughter decomposed in her backyard.”

In July of 2017, Brooke returned to the doctor’s office to refill her birth control pills.

Although she met with a different doctor, the doctor who saw her had already been advised that Richardson was pregnant when she came to the office in April.

“As a result, she confronted Brooke about no longer being pregnant,” Kraft said. “Brooke broke down and told her she’d had the baby in the middle of the night and buried her in the back yard.”

Investigators found the baby girl’s skeletal remains buried in the family’s back yard, but the body was too badly decomposed for a cause of death to be determined.

“Because Brooke deliberately concealed her daughter’s birth and then buried her remains in the ground where they decomposed for over two months during the summer of 2017, all that was left of her daughter’s body were the skeletal remains,” Kraft told the jury.

A forensic pathologist testified that the infant died due to “homicidal violence,” Fox News reported.

Investigators also discovered that Richardson had conducted internet searches for “how to get rid of a baby,” prosecutors said.

During one interview, Richardson told police that her daughter may have made noises and moved after she was born.

Defense attorney Charlie Rittgers argued that Richardson’s daughter was stillborn, and that the teen buried her body because she was scared and sad, FOX News reported.

Psychologist Stuart Bassman testified that Richardson “was being manipulated” by police into making false statements, including her confession that she burned the child’s body.

Doctors ultimately concluded that the newborn’s body had not been burned, the Journal-News reported.

Bassman said that Richardson has a dependent personality disorder, which makes her eager to please those in authority, even if what she tells them is untrue, according to FOX News.

She also suffered from a severe eating disorder from the age of 12, her attorney said.

“I am literally speechless with how happy I am my belly is back OMG…” she wrote in a text message just hours after she buried her dead daughter, according to FOX News.

Rittgers alleged that the case was “well overcharged from the get-go,” according to the Journal-News.

He said that Richardson has been working at his office since he began handling her case, and that she has completed one semester at Sinclair Community College.

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said he understands the jury’s decision, but that Richardson’s statements and actions before and after she gave birth showed that the baby’s death was a homicide.

“She accomplished what she intended to do,” Fornshell said, according to the Journal-News. "Because she buried the baby and it was in the ground for months, there is no proof."

Comments (41)
No. 1-26
THEDUKE
THEDUKE

nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.......

jakki taylor
jakki taylor

She did commit murder, so selfish and shallow that I pray she never has another child.

Dmos1357
Dmos1357

If she didn't realize she was pregnant until the 8th month, clearly this woman is not blessed with a high level of intelligence, nor are her parents.

Bobby1874
Bobby1874

The living definition of a piece of shit

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

Hm. Even this site prefaces the child murderer with "cheerleader."

4thaBlue
4thaBlue

Pathetic to have to lie about your child’s death to save yours. Sad they had to go as far as her having mental health issues-dependent personality disorder and severe eating disorder (which has nothing to do with what she did) as her excuse for her sick actions. She Knows exactly what she did, and everyone can see through her lawyers bullshit, and I hope she suffers everyday for the rest of her life. She ended her own child’s life just because she didn’t want to ruin the “image” of hers. WELL LOOK AT YOUR LIFE NOW BITCH.

LynnSB
LynnSB

Absolutely DISGUSTING -- that a Human Being (a BABY ~ HER OWN) can be MURDERED and people just don't care --- Society has become f*cking Animals !!! Didn't know my Ass ~~

Vodkabreakfast
Vodkabreakfast

It’s as if she was paranoid that Hell was too exclusive in its membership requirements, and she REALLY needed to make her application stand out. Sweetheart; I think you made the cut.

cspcapt
cspcapt

Did she not endanger the baby's life

Gap Filler
Gap Filler

If she were poor and black, there would have been a different outcome from the jury.

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

So even though everyone knows she's guilty but because there wasn't enough evidence, that's the only reason her sorry ass got off?? I mean I understand being young and scared but to then kill your newborn baby?? All to protect your image and get "your stomach" back? You shallow whore!! Good job parents!!

Hope72911
Hope72911

She knew exactly what she was doing....and she gets off Scott free!!!! WTF? There are do many parents wanting to have a child and cant....she could've easily put that poor baby girl up for adoption!!!!

LanetaJane16
LanetaJane16

So she has been rewarded for being deceitful and a murderer....wow....what has our society come to?

Toriibearxox
Toriibearxox

She’s just another Casey Anthony 🤷🏼‍♀️😒

snafu
snafu

Why not adoption?

MKD23
MKD23

Aw, how sweet she named the baby “Annabelle” before she intentionally killed her and buried her in the back yard. Those who are happy they are pregnant don’t hide that fact for the entire pregnancy. Only those with a sick plan would do so. You girl are one sick bitch. I can only hope Karma comes quickly to you!

CCREBELRIDER
CCREBELRIDER

Even thou we don't really know what was truely going on in her life it would seem that she is just a spoiled rotten little Princess that didn't want to give up her perfect little world. So sad. RIP little Angel Annabelle. When will this world start holding people accountable for the wrongs they commit?

KarenRuth
KarenRuth

I know if my daughter was missing for 36 hours I would be concerned where she was and what she was up to. This was a “family” plot. At least the mom. You cannot tell me no one was concerned about her well being after 36 hours! The family had to be involved too.

KarenRuth
KarenRuth

She only named her Annabelle way after her birth. She referred to her as “it” until someone said she should humanize her by giving her a name.

61mouse
61mouse

Hope she keeps her legs crossed

50wt
50wt

can you prove that without any doubt?

Asher21
Asher21

How did she getaway visually with hiding her pregnancy until the eighth month?

floridacop
floridacop

I just dont understand some people. A newborn that did not have a say so about being brought into this world, who her parents were or anything of that nature. If you didnt want the child dont have unprotected sex. If the baby was to much for you give her up. Let the baby have a chance at life you got yours.

Three years probation. There is not enough time in life for what you deserve for that baby's death

tuggingalong
tuggingalong

Well, in some states, you can abort a third trimester baby. In some states, you can euthanize yourself because you’re depressed or old. I guess I’m not surprised. Can you imagine how insane it will be in 50 years?

Dan1491
Dan1491

I have never felt so angry about a stupid conviction well wait maybe the OJ trial . This is utterly wrong the system dropped the ball here . I hope HOPE she has no peace until she goes into the ground with this defenseless baby. What a kunt 🖕🖕🖕🖕😠😠😠😠

PapaSmuf73
PapaSmuf73

Homicide is homicide. She had mad a rationale decision to get rid of the baby . Her own statement that the baby made a noise and was moving when she burying her . How could a jury not convict her. It is absolutely amazing and appalling that she only received probation for murder.