2 Wednesday, September 11, 2019 18:43

Moment cheerleader admits using lighter on ‘murdered newborn baby’

Brooke Skylar Richardson denies killing and burying her newborn baby (Picture: PA)A former cheerleader accused of murdering her newborn baby then burying her body in the garden broke down in her police interview as she described allegedly attempting to cremate the body.Brooke Skylar Richardson, 20, faces life in prison accused of killing her newborn baby and burying her after secretly giving birth.

Richardson denies murder and instead claims the baby was stillborn and that she buried it out of respect and grief at her home in Warren County, Ohio in May 2017.Prosecutors said Richardson killed the child – she named Annabelle – fearing it would ruin her life.On Monday they ended their case by playing footage of a police interview taken in the days after the baby’s death in court.

In it, Richardson sobs as she describes taking a lighter to the baby’s foot.She tells detectives she gave birth on the toilet in the middle of the night. The detectives tell her they have scientific evidence the baby’s body was burned.AdvertisementAdvertisementUrging the suspect to tell them how it happened, one officer asks: ‘Did you hear her cry?’Richardson responds: ‘Maybe a little.

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Richardson delivered the baby two days after her high school prom (Picture: AP)Defence lawyers argued the video shows police putting words into Richardson’s mouth and that she told them what they wanted to here as she was scared and confused.

They argue that Richardson’s filmed confession was a false one, because it would be impossible to set a body on fire with a lighter.Richardson was 18 when she gave birth and had told no one she was pregnant, including the baby’s teenage father who she’d had a brief fling with, the court heard.Opening their case during her trial yesterday, Richardson’s defence attorneys by showing the jury several photographs of Richardson throughout her teenage years which documented a drastic weight fluctuation.

They were also shown photographs of her with Brandon Saylor, her boyfriend in 2017, when she gave birth.On Tuesday, a doctor who is an expert in still births testified for the defence, saying he believes Richardson’s newborn daughter was stillborn when she gave birth.AdvertisementAdvertisementDr John White said the way Richardson described her baby – as looking white, not breathing or moving and with no heartbeat – is consistent with a stillbirth.

She gave the description during her first police interview, without prompt and without having any medical knowledge, her lawyers said.He believes the baby suffered intrauterine growth restriction which is a common cause of stillbirth, the court heard.Richardson had a history of anorexia, which would have increased the risk her baby would not survive birth, the doctor said.

.He added the way she described the baby as if it ‘plopped’ out of her, with no umbilical chord attached, was also a sign it was not alive.

News Code: 345265  |  Metro.co.uk
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