Judge denies change of venue, dismissal of indictment motions for Skylar Richardson

Skylar Richardson is charged with murder in the death of her newborn baby found buried in a...
Skylar Richardson is charged with murder in the death of her newborn baby found buried in a Warren County backyard.
Updated: Aug. 19, 2019 at 6:33 PM EDT
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WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - Warren County Judge Donald Oda has denied three motions filed by the defense for a 20-year-old woman accused of killing and burying her baby in the backyard of her family’s home.

Judge Oda denied the motions filed by Richardson’s attorney to change the venue, dismiss her indictment and for the jury to view the crime scene.

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Richardson is charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and child endangering in the May 2017 death of her newborn.

On Aug. 1, attorneys filed the motion to dismiss her indictment 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.

“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.

However, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell called the motion groundless and nonsensical.

“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.”

Judge Oda called the motion untimely and denied it.

Her attorneys then filed a motion to request of change of venue on Aug. 16, claiming there had been a high level of pretrial publicity that would interfere with her having a fair trial.

The judge denied all three motions on Aug. 19, about two weeks before her trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 3.

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