‘Grotesque’: Cheerleader accused of killing newborn
A cheerleader accused of killing her newborn baby in horrific circumstances - allegedly crushing the little girl's skull, setting her on fire and burying the body in her backyard - is set to face a jury next month.
Brooke Skylar Richardson is alleged to have murdered her baby just days after her high school prom in 2017.
Ms Richardson, now 20, has been charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, endangering children, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse, The Sun reports.
The prosecution alleges when she was 18 she gave birth to a healthy baby, named Annabelle, which she then killed in Carlisle, Ohio.
She is further accused of possibly even trying to burn the corpse before burying her in the backyard.
Ms Richardson, known as Skylar to her friends and family, claims the infant was stillborn.
Her case will come to trial on September 3 after a judge threw out three motions from the defence that would have further delayed it.
Authorities first learned of the baby from a doctor Ms Richardson had visited just a few weeks before she gave birth.
'OBSESSED WITH EXTERNAL APPEARANCES'
The remains were found soon after, and prosecutors believe Ms Richardson buried the baby shortly after giving birth.
Ms Richardson was full term when she gave birth to the girl, delivering the child in her bathroom within days after her senior prom.
County prosecutor David Fornshell says Ms Richardson and her family had been worried about the community's reaction to her out-of-wedlock pregnancy.
He said: "Skylar and her family, particularly her mother, were pretty obsessed with external appearances and how things appeared to the outside world.
"You have a situation where, you know, she's a cute high school, recent high school graduate; she was a cheerleader described (as) a good girl by her lawyer as you heard after the arraignment.
"And I think that kind of perception is one that Skylar wanted to perpetuate and her mother wanted to perpetuate."
Ms Richardson has been under house arrest for more than a year after a judge ordered a curfew of 9pm to 7am, random home visits and for her to be subject to GPS monitoring.
Her lawyers have accused prosecutors of creating "a false narrative" to sensationalise the case.
They told the court: "What started as an 18-year-old high school girl who was frightened and saddened because of giving birth to a stillborn baby whom she named Annabelle and then telling her doctor of the stillborn and burial in the backyard turned into something sinister and grotesque."
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission