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Cheerleader Brooke Skylar Richardson’s parents give first interview since her acquittal

Brooke Skylar Richardson, the young former cheerleader who was recently acquitted of murdering a baby she gave birth to in secret then buried in her backyard, will appear in new TV special where her parents are interviewed for the first time and reveal how she rejected a plea deal from prosecutors.

Richardson, 20, was acquitted of murdering the baby – who she called Annabelle – after a highly publicized trial earlier this month.

She was convicted of gross abuse of a corpse but was given time served and went home with her parents, Kim and Scott, a day after her conviction. 

The trio will now be featured in a new episode of 48 Hours on CBS which will air on Saturday September 28. 

In a promotional video for the show, Skylar – as she is known – is not interviewed but her parents speak at length about the ordeal. 

Her mother Kim described it as her ‘worst nightmare’ and said the family had been living in ‘purgatory’. 

 

Kim and Scott Richardson in their 48 Hours interview which will air on CBS on Saturday night

Skylar, now 20, was filmed for the special at the family's home but she did not speak in the promotional video and it is unclear if she was interviewed

Skylar, now 20, was filmed for the special at the family’s home but she did not speak in the promotional video and it is unclear if she was interviewed

‘I don’t know when it hit me but I was a grandmother and I never had any of the benefits of it.

‘Our lives had been completely turned upside down,’ said her mother Kim. 

Skylar gave birth in May 2017 in the upstairs bathroom of her family’s home in Carlisle, Ohio. She said the baby was a stillborn. 

At the time, she was 18 and had been suffering eating disorders for years. The baby’s father was not her boyfriend but a different young man she’d had a fling with the previous summer.

Skylar's mother shared this new photo of her when she was eight months pregnant in April 2017 and said she could not tell she was carrying a baby

Skylar’s mother shared this new photo of her when she was eight months pregnant in April 2017 and said she could not tell she was carrying a baby 

Having told no one she was pregnant, she buried the lifeless baby in the family’s back yard and marked the spot with some flowers.

It was only when she went back to the same gynecologist who had told her she was pregnant to get birth control pills two months later that she confessed to what she’d done. 

She was initially charged with murder, gross abuse of a corpse and child endangerment after a pathologist told police that she had burned the baby’s corpse. 

The statement was based on the fact the bones looked darker in some areas. The pathologist recanted her statement but detectives had already coaxed Skylar into confessing to it.  

In his interview, Skylar’s father Scott said they thought they were doing the right thing by having her cooperate. 

‘We thought we were doing the right thing by cooperating. It turned out to be the absolute wrong thing.’   

The family say they have been hounded for more than two years by the media storm the case created. 

Kim, who prosecutors and defense attorneys said was ‘obsessed’ with her daughter’s weight, compared the scale of the publicity to the Super Bowl. 

‘It felt like Super Bowl level. It was like the world stopped. Everyone wanted to know what was going on in our backyard and what had happened. 

‘The sidewalk was lined with people sitting in lawn chairs. We have no privacy, we’re followed, stalked.

Skylar's mother Kim, who did not testify at the trial, said her life was turned 'upside down'

Skylar’s mother Kim, who did not testify at the trial, said her life was turned ‘upside down’

Skylar at home since being acquitted of murder. It is unclear what she now plans to do

Skylar at home since being acquitted of murder. It is unclear what she now plans to do 

Skylar is pictured in her prom dress two days before she gave birth

Skylar is pictured in her prom dress two days before she gave birth 

The 20-year-old broke down in tears as she was acquitted of murder earlier this month

The 20-year-old broke down in tears as she was acquitted of murder earlier this month

‘Facebook, to me, turned into “hate book,”‘ she said. 

Scott said the family was ‘stalked’ and that they are still afraid to speak out. 

‘I’m very scared. We’re scared to death talking to you. We don’t want things to come across wrong,’ he said.

The couple say that ultimately, Skylar’s mistake was that she buried the baby without telling anyone. 

‘She had a stillborn and she made a poor choice after that, not telling anyone and burying the baby,’ her mother said. 

Her father, who testified at the trial, said there was ‘no way’ she could ever have hurt the baby. 

Prosecutors showed the jury this photograph of the infant's skeletal remains after they were dug up from the family's yard

Prosecutors showed the jury this photograph of the infant’s skeletal remains after they were dug up from the family’s yard 

As part of their defense, Skylar's attorneys showed photos of how her weight fluctuated before she became pregnant (above) within the space of six months. She'd suffered from anorexia for years beforehand, her family says, and was under pressure from her mother to stay slim

As part of their defense, Skylar’s attorneys showed photos of how her weight fluctuated before she became pregnant (above) within the space of six months. She’d suffered from anorexia for years beforehand, her family says, and was under pressure from her mother to stay slim 

‘There’s no way she would ever hurt anyone,’ he said. 

Her mother added: ‘There’s no way. I would stake my life on it.’ 

She insisted she did not know about the pregnancy.

‘We missed everything,’ both she and Scott said. 

When she learned that her daughter had been pregnant and buried the baby, Kim said she was in shock. 

‘I couldn’t feel my body. I could not get up. How could that happen? I’ve seen her every day. I look at her. I talk to her. I hug her,’ she said.

Brooke Skylar Richardson is shown in during her second police interview last July where she told police she set fire to her baby

Brooke Skylar Richardson is shown in during her second police interview last July where she told police she set fire to her baby 

Kim also shared a photograph of Skylar that was taken in April, weeks before she gave birth.

‘You cannot tell,’ she said of her figure. 

Defense attorneys explained at her trial how no one in her family thought it was strange that she became larger during her pregnancy because they said her weight fluctuated so much anyway.

‘She looked healthy,’ her mother said of her growing belly. Her father chimed in: ‘We were actually pleased that she was finally gaining some weight.’ 

Skylar has never spoken publicly other than to apologize at her sentencing hearing. 

She said she ‘knew she could be selfish’ but that she had changed. 

48 Hours will air on CBS on Saturday night at 10pm.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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