Skylar Richardson’s attorneys want indictment dismissed due to recanted statement on charred bones

Brooke Skylar Richardson
Brooke Skylar Richardson
Updated: Aug. 1, 2019 at 2:20 PM EDT
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WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - The attorneys for a Carlisle teen accused of killing her newborn baby girl, burning her, and burying her in the backyard of her parents’ house in May 2017 want her indictment dismissed.

Skylar Richardson is charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and child endangering.

A motion filed Thursday by her attorneys argues the indictment against Richardson should be dismissed “due to the defects in the institution of prosecution of this case; the State’s deprivation of Miss Richardson’s constitutional rights to a fair trial and due process.”

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The motion also asks to release grand jury testimony for “in camera review.”

The court documents state the grand jury indicted Richardson based on evidence that included Dr. Elizabeth Murray’s belief that the baby’s bones she examined on July 20, 2017 were charred. Upon a second examination on Aug. 17, 2017, Dr. Murray recanted her opinion.

Dr. Murray, a forensic anthropologist, examined the fetal remains at the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office at the request of Dr. Susan Allen, a forensic pathologist at the coroner’s office.

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Email exchanges between Murray and Allen were released with the motion to dismiss.

In one of those exchanges Murray told Allen “I could not say at that second visit with a reasonable degree of certainty that those bones had, in fact, been burned.”

Allen replied by saying she didn’t realize it was a “crucial part of their [prosecutor’s office] game plan.”

Murray then said “whether the bones was burned or not, that baby was still dead, had unexplained skull fractures, and was buried the back yard. I don’t understand why the burning takes it up such a notch."

Richardson was indicted for her charges on Aug. 4, 2017.

“While the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office unintentionally presented false information to the grand jury in this case, the indictment and prosecution are defective all the same and should be dismissed in accordance with Miss Richardson’s right to a fair trial,” the motion reads.

Another pre-trial hearing is set for Aug. 19. Richardson’s trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 3.

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