Gag order lifted in trial against teen mom accused of killing newborn

Brooke "Skylar" Richardson at her first court appearance on an aggravated murder charge Monday. (FOX19 NOW/file)
Brooke "Skylar" Richardson at her first court appearance on an aggravated murder charge Monday. (FOX19 NOW/file)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The gag order put in place for the case against a teenage mother accused of killing her newborn baby in May of 2017 has been lifted.

On Monday, the gag order Warren County Judge Donald Oda issued almost immediately once the case was open was lifted in the Court of Appeals Twelfth Appellate District of Ohio.

Investigators discovered the charred, decomposing remains of the baby on July 14, 2017.

"To presume that there may be news coverage that threatens the administration of justice, whether that be against the state or the defendant, is nothing more than pure speculation," the court opinion reads.

Richardson is accused of killing her baby girl, burning the newborn in the family fire bit and then burying her in the backyard in May.

The teen was indicted last year on charges of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and child endangering.

[Is teen mom accused of killing newborn getting off too easy?]

Richardson remains free on a $50,000 bond and under court-ordered house arrest that was a condition of her release.

Oda issued the gag order in August after Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell confirmed the victim was was a baby girl.

A baby wasn't an "acceptable outcome" for a college-bound girl living with intense family pressure to maintain her image, Fornshell described.

"I think the evidence supports that Skylar and her family, particularly her mother, were pretty obsessed with external appearances and how she appeared to the outside world," Fornshell said when asked about a motive.

FOX19 NOW reached out to Fornshell for comment on the case, but he said "no thank you."

Richardson is scheduled to appear in court Monday. Her trial is expected to begin April 16.

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