Prosecutor calls Skylar Richardson’s motion to dismiss indictment ‘groundless’

Prosecutor calls Skylar Richardson’s motion to dismiss indictment ‘groundless’
Brooke "Skylar" Richardson

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell is calling the motion Skylar Richardson’s attorneys filed to dismiss her indictment groundless and nonsensical.

The Carlisle teen is accused of killing her newborn baby girl, burning her, and burying her in the backyard of her parents’ house in May 2017.

Her attorneys filed the motion to dismiss on Aug. 1 stating Dr. Elizabeth Murray, a forensic anthropologist, recanted a statement she made about the baby’s bones, which she examined on July 20, 2017, being charred.

“Her motion is groundless,” Fornshell said in a memorandum. “The sole basis of the motion is the fluctuating opinions of an anthropologist who the State does not even intend to call at trial. At the same time, Richardson’s motion conveniently ignores substantial additional evidence, which the State provided to the defense almost two years ago and which amply support the offenses with which Richardson has been charged.”

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

The motion to dismiss included email exchanges between Murray and Dr. Susan Allen, a forensic pathologist, about the charred bones and death of the baby.

In one of those exchanges Murray 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."

Fornshell’s memo states Murray’s varying opinions don’t establish the charges against Richardson are improper.

“Initially, Dr. Murray’s opinions relate only to the charring of the bones. She did not speak to whether the outer layers of the baby’s body were burned. Therefore, her opinions do not negate evidence that Richardson burned her baby. They certainly do not negate evidence that Richardson caused they death of her baby, created a substantial risk of health or safety to her baby, or buried her baby.”

The prosecutor is asking the court to deny the motion to dismiss the indictment and motion to release grand jury testimony for in camera review.

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

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