A young Ohio girl pleaded not guilty after being charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, serious body abuse, tampering with evidence and child danger. Brooke Skylar Richardson, 20, faces those charges for the death of her newborn daughter.
The investigation of the case began in July 2017 when a doctor alerted police to the possibility that Richardson may have given birth to a dead baby. Authorities then searched the home of the young woman's parents, where she lived, and claimed to have found the remains of a newborn girl in the yard. The young woman was immediately arrested and her trial began this week.
The prosecutor handling the case alleged that the young woman did not want to be a single mother at 18 and when she was about to start college in a few months, PEOPLE reported. According to the prosecution, Richardson did not return to her medical appointments, nor did she continue with any other treatment, and ignored calls from her doctor and assistants.
The young woman's lawyers assured that the baby was born dead and that she did not meet the criteria to be considered a girl.
This Wednesday, the prosecutor filed a series of text messages that the former cheerleader apparently sent to her mother, who did not know that her daughter was pregnant.
The prosecutor alleges that the texts were sent around 24 hours after the young woman murdered her baby. “I'm literally excited for dinner to wear something cute. My belly is back, now I am going to take this opportunity to [see myself] incredible”, the young woman would have written.
The prosecutor said that Richardson sent a new text message to his mother after he buried the baby.
"I'm really speechless about how happy I am," she wrote, as she was going to the gym and documenting her weight loss with photos. “My belly is back and I will never, ever let it go like this again. You're about to see me better than before.”
In addition, the prosecutor also assured that the young woman searched for the phrase "how to get rid of a baby" on the internet after learning of her pregnancy. Previously, her mother apparently told her that her life would end if she became pregnant.
"I was determined to keep it a secret," said Warren County Prosecutor Steve Knippen, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper. "When he could no longer hide his daughter, he took her life."
For their part, the young woman's lawyers admitted that Richardson did bury the remains of her baby, but that she did so since she was dead and did not know what to do with the body.
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