Trial date set for woman accused of burning and burying newborn

Published: Aug. 15, 2017 at 12:13 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 15, 2017 at 10:05 PM EDT
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A small group of protesters calling for justice for Richardson's infant daughter. (Sarah Celi,...
A small group of protesters calling for justice for Richardson's infant daughter. (Sarah Celi, FOX19 NOW)

CARLISLE, OH (FOX19) - A Warren County judge on Tuesday set the trial for an 18-year-old mother charged with the murder of her newborn daughter for November.

Brooke Skylar Richardson of Carlisle, is accused of killing, burning and burying her baby just hours after birth.

Richardson faces aggravated murder, gross abuse of a corpse and other charges. Her trial begins November 6. Leading up to the trial, she is on house arrest with a GPS ankle bracelet.

More Coverage: Teen mom accused of killing newborn posts $50k bond, is on house arrest 

Her defense attorney Charles Rittger, paints her as a "good girl" who didn't drink, was a high school cheerleader and volunteered to assist special needs children at the YMCA.

When she appeared in court for scheduling the trial date, a small number of protesters marched outside with signs reading "Abortion is legal" and "Murder is not."

Some in the community are claiming Richardson is being treated too well by the justice system after posting a $5,000 bond to get out of jail. The low bond is seen by some as evidence of preferential treatment.

"But we have all these people, because she's a blond, pretty cheerleader, with mommy and daddy's money, oh poor, poor pitiful Brooke, she was just afraid of her mom. No!," one woman told FOX19 NOW. "She was an adult!"

FOX19 NOW Legal Analyst Mike Allen said what's getting uncovered on social media will undoubtedly impact Skylar's case.

"The first thing the prosecutor thinks of, and I know the defense attorney thinks of is, what did this person, either my client or the defendant, say on social media," he said.

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said Richardson's family is "obsessed with external appearances" and the baby was not an "acceptable outcome" for a college-bond girl. Richardson was set to attend University of Cincinnati in the fall.

Fornshell said Richardson gave birth two days after the Carlisle High School prom, sometime in the window of May 6 and May 7. The baby's actual cause of death has not been determined.

More Coverage: Warren County Prosecutor: Infant found in backyard was born alive

"To be frank with you, I'm not sure we ever will provide to you the exact medical cause of death, and the reason for that is because the child was, after death, burned and subsequently buried, and there was significant decomposition to the body," Fornshell said.

An attorney for the Cincinnati Enquirer filed a motion asking the judge in the Carlisle buried baby case to lift a gag order Tuesday.

First Amendment lawyer Jack Greiner argued the media's coverage should not have an impact on a fair trial. Warren County Judge Donald Oda II said he will hear a full argument to ax the order on Thursday.

Judge Oda issued a gag order last week in the case to ensure a fair trial a few hours after Fornshell reveal the deceased baby is a girl.

"A few moments ago, on his own motion, Judge Don Oda issued a gag order precluding all parties to the State v. Brooke Skyler Richardson case from making any further statements about the case," Fornshell posted on Facebook Thursday afternoon. "The only exception to this order relates to addressing scheduling and other procedural matters pertaining to the case."

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