Skylar Richardson: Judge seals her felony conviction for abusing baby’s corpse

Skylar Richardson: Judge seals her felony conviction for abusing baby’s corpse
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 6:01 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2022 at 12:42 PM EDT
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LEBANON, Ohio (FOX19) - A Warren County judge granted Skylar Richardson’s request to seal her felony conviction for abusing her baby’s corpse.

That means her case is no longer visible to the public on the Warren County Clerk of Court website.

The sealing of a criminal case means the entire thing, including the conviction, no longer exists in the criminal justice system - with some exceptions, says FOX19 NOW Legal Analyst and former Hamilton County prosecutor Mike Allen.

Law enforcement, he says, can still see the case for certain reasons such as if she or anyone who gets an expungement be charged again with a criminal offense but only if a charge can be upgraded by a prior conviction.

Or, he said, if she should apply to be a law enforcement officer or apply for a state licence necessary to work as a nurse or another monitored profession.

“The purpose of expungement is to clear one’s record and she’s eligible. I am not surprised by it,” he tells FOX19 NOW.

“But here’s the thing about her expungement: As a practical matter, it doesn’t make much difference simply because if anybody wants to know about it, all they have to do is go to the internet. You can’t expunge things from the internet.”

Nevertheless, Warren County Common Pleas Court Judge Donald Oda approved it in a written decision released Monday.

We reached out to Richardson’s attorneys, Charlie Rittgers, and Warren County Prosecutor Dave Fornshell for comment.

Rittgers, who is tied up with jury selection in a quadruple homicide case in Butler County, isn’t commenting.

We have not heard back from Fornshell but will keep checking.

Warren County prosecutors fought Richardson’s request to seal the records when her motion was filed in mid-August.

“The State is opposed to Defendant’s motion and this outcome because sealing the records and conviction of the case would diminish the seriousness of her offense of gross abuse of a corpse,” Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Steven T. Knippen said in a prepared statement in August.

“Additionally, the State has legitimate interest in maintaining the records that document the offense for which Defendant was convicted.”

The former Carlisle High School cheerleader, who is now 23, was a teenager when she was accused of intentionally killing her baby and burying her in her parent’s backyard in 2017.

A jury found Richardson guilty of abuse of a corpse in September 2019. she was sentenced to three yaes of community control.

She was acquitted in a lengthy jury trial on the most serious charges: aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.

Judge Oda sentenced Richardson to three years probation with a seven-day jail sentence commuted for time served.

Her attorneys requested the termination of her probation after she served 14 months of it and said she was “fully compliant.”

During that hearing, Judge Oda said there is nothing that he had seen that led him to think Richardson would commit more crimes and terminated the probation effective November 2021.