Orange County Criminal Defense

Cheerleader Found Not Guilty Of Killing Her Newborn Child

After just four and a half hours of deliberation, the jury reached a verdict of not guilty in the murder trial of Brooke Richardson, who was accused of killing and burying her newborn daughter.  Richardson was charged with multiple charges, including aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, child endangerment, and more.  But, Richardson was only found guilty of one charge, which was gross abuse of a corpse.  It all started in July of 2017 when Richardson was first accused of killing and burying her newborn daughter in her backyard.  Prosecutors argued that Richardson did not wish to be a teen mom, with college only being a couple months away. 

Following the time after Richardson was aware of her pregnancy, she failed to return to the doctor’s office for an ultrasound, bloodwork, or any prenatal care.  She also ignored phone calls from the doctor and assistants according to prosecutors.  In a police interview, Richardson allegedly said, “I didn’t really want to have my baby.  I really didn’t know what I planned to do.” 

Prosecutors argued that Richardson intentionally killed the baby even though the medical examiner could not determine the cause of death.  Richardson’s attorneys argued that the baby was a stillborn and therefore did not meet the legal criteria to be considered a child.  Although, her attorneys have repeatedly admitted that Richardson buried the child’s remains in her parent’s backyard, but only because the baby was stillborn and she didn’t know what to do with the remains.  For the one charge that Richardson was found guilty of, she faces up to a year in jail and she will be sentenced within the near future.

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