Cheerleader, 20, breaks down in tears as she's acquitted of killing newborn


Jury deliberates whether young Ohio woman murdered her newborn

A jury in OH found Brooke Skylar Richardson not guilty of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, and child endangerment on Thursday.

She was found guilty of corpse abuse and is scheduled to be sentenced Friday.

Brooke Skylar Richardson cried as the jury handed down a not guilty verdict in the 2017 death of her newborn daughter.

Ms Richardson was 18-years-old when she allegedly told a doctor in 2017 that she gave birth to a stillborn baby, who she named "Annabelle", and buried it in the backyard at her parents' home in the village of Carlisle, just north of Cincinnati.

The jury had been deliberating since 11:11 a.m. Thursday after two hours of closing arguments, two days of defense testimony and four days or prosecution testimony.

According to him, they were charges she never should have faced at all.

While awaiting the verdict, Richardson, now 20, was visibly shaking.

Photos posted by local station WCPO showed her breaking down in tears as the verdict was rendered. "We love you, baby".

Prosecutors had alleged that Richardson never meant to keep the baby before killing her and burying the child on her family's property in Carlisle.

A forensic pathologist testified for the prosecution that she concluded the baby died from "homicidal violence". Richardson's attorneys argued that the baby was stillborn and didn't meet the legal criteria to be considered a child.

Brooke Skylar Richardson makes her first court appearance in Franklin Municipal Court in Franklin, Ohio, on July 21, 2017.

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said he believes Richardson had a fair trial and that "advocacy on both sides was very well done".

"I'm literally so excited for dinner to wear something cute yayy my belly is back now I am takin this opportunity to make it fantastic", she texted her mom. They played video for the jury of a police interview in which Richardson said the baby might have moved and made noises.

A variety of witnesses took the stand over the course of the trial, including the baby's father, who said he never knew about the child.

Bassman told the court that Richardson was terrified of rejection and abandonment by authority figures, which is why she might have concealed her pregnancy. Rittgers said her confession to police was coerced.

Defense attorney Charles M. Rittgers told jurors that prosecutors stuck with inaccurate information even though they knew it was false. In the weeks after learning of her pregnancy, Richardson didn't return for an ultrasound, bloodwork, or any other treatment, while also ignoring calls from the doctor and assistants, prosecutors have said. If she had this sinister motive to hide and conceal the fact that she was going to kill a child, she wouldn't have reacted like that. The gross abuse of corpse charge carries a sentence of six to 12 months in prison.

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