A former Ohio cheerleader accused of killing her newborn daughter before burning her and burying her in her parents’ backyard is suffering from eating disorders and weighs just 82 pounds.
Brooke Skylar Richardson, now 20, had been charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, endangering children, tampering with evidence, and gross abuse of a corpse in July 2017.
She was present at Warren County Common Pleas Court earlier this month for a procedural hearing ahead of her trial, which is due to begin on September 3.
Former Ohio cheerleader Skylar Richardson, (pictured), accused of killing her newborn daughter before burning her and burying her in her parents’ backyard
Her lawyer said Richardson is suffering from anorexia and bulimia and now weighs 83 pounds. She is pictured in court left on July 1 and is seen at a previous hearing in August 2017, (right),
Her lawyer, Charles M Rittgers, said she is suffering from anorexia and bulimia and confirmed her weight and treatment, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
‘They are holding up and coping the best they can,’ he said of the Richardson family.
Attorneys and prosecutors met Judge Donald Oda II’s chambers privately for discussions relating to the trial, which is expected to last three weeks, on July 1. Richardson has been out on bond since August 2017.
Charles H. Rittgers, also an attorney for Richardson claimed: ‘I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about the case.
‘Skylar’s case is different because of social media and the intense media coverage. That adds an extra layer to the anxiety of properly defending your client when you have that kind of media scrutiny.’
Richardson was just 18-years-old when she tearfully admitted to a doctor that her baby had been stillborn and she had buried it at her parents’ home in the village of Carlisle, which is north of Cincinnati.
It was just a month before she was due to start college and days after her senior prom in May 2017.
Brooke Skylar Richardson, second from left, arrives with her family for a pretrial hearing in Warren County Court Tuesday in Lebanon, Ohio in August 2017
Skylar’s defense attorneys have blasted prosecutors for ‘a false narrative’ that sensationalized the case. She is pictured in court with her family in 2017
She has maintained the baby was delivered stillborn. Skylar’s prom photo, taken two days before she gave birth shows a visible bump but her parents claim they were never aware their daughter was pregnant.
Lawyers had asked the court that the charge of aggravated murder being trialed separately in a motion earlier this month, Fox 19 reported.
Richardson would then face involuntary manslaughter and endangering children charges in a separate trial under their plans.
And she should be tried for tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse in a third trial, her legal team argue.
Richardson is seen above making her first court appearance in July 2017
They say she is at risk of the jury using the evidence ‘cumulatively’ when several crimes are tried together, with her trial due to start on September 3.
County Prosecutor David Fornshell has said: ‘Skylar and her family, particularly her mother, were pretty obsessed with external appearances and how things appeared to the outside world.
‘You have a situation where, you know, she’s a cute recent high school graduate. She was a cheerleader, described a good girl by her attorney.
‘And I think that kind of perception is one that Skylar wanted to perpetuate and her mother wanted to perpetuate.’
It was also Fornshell who would claim that Skylar not only buried her dead baby, but burned the newborn girl’s body as well.
A forensic expert who claimed Annabelle had been burned has since retracted their claim. A second expert likewise confirmed there were no signs the baby was burned.
Skylar’s defense attorneys have blasted prosecutors for ‘a false narrative’ that sensationalized the case.
They say the teen didn’t kill her baby, and that an expert witness concluded there was no sign of burning or of trauma that would have caused the baby’s death.
Authorities first learned of the baby from a doctor that Skylar had first visited a few weeks before she gave birth.
Skylar – who has maintained the baby was delivered stillborn – was charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, endangering children, tampering with evidence, and gross abuse of a corpse in July 2017
When she visited him again, Skylar said that the baby had been stillborn and she had buried it. The coroner’s office contacted police.
After police arrived at her home, Skylar told them that she had given birth to a baby girl – who she named Annabelle – around 3am on May 7, 2017.
She said her daughter never opened her eyes and Skylar cradled her for hours, hoping she would show any sign of life.
When none came, the teen buried her in a spot in the yard that she would be able to see from her bedroom window, digging the hole with a small garden spade.
She then took pink rose petals, which she had worn at prom and sprinkled them over her daughter’s grave.
Police found the baby’s remains in the backyard of the teenager’s home in Carlisle, Ohio, (above) in July
Officers (pictured above searching the property in July) were directed to the house by a tip from a doctor who said the teenager may have delivered a stillborn
In October 2018, her attorneys lost an appeal appeal to stop her OB-GYN from testifying after arguing it was a breach of doctor-patient privilege
Richardson’s lawyers said that the cheerleader’s conversations with her doctor were protected by doctor-patient privilege and was thus inadmissible in court.
But a court rejected that argument, according to Fox 19.
Prosecutors said Richardson, then 18, told doctors in May 2017 that she had no intention of having a child just months before starting college.
Assistant Warren County Prosecutor Kirsten Brandt claimed Skylar’s reaction was so ‘extreme and over the top’ the doctors said she needed to tell them if she was having thoughts about hurting her child.
Brandt also claimed the teen did not go back to her doctor for an ultrasound or blood tests.
She said Skylar ignored phone calls from her doctor and did ‘nothing to prepare for this baby coming into the world’.