Residents of an Ohio town took to social media to express their anger after a teenage girl, who is accused of killing her newborn and is on modified house arrest, was spotted dining out at a restaurant.
Brooke "Skylar" Richardson, 19, of Carlisle, is accused of killing and burying her full-term baby in May 2017, shortly after giving birth. The former cheerleader’s defense attorneys argued the infant was stillborn.
Last month, a judge modified Richardson's house arrest and ruled the teenager would have to observe a curfew of 9 p.m. through 7 a.m., and be supervised via GPS monitoring and random home visits.
Few details have been released regarding the baby’s death but Warren County prosecutors accused Richardson of killing, burning and burying the infant. The body was allegedly found near her family's barbecue pit. Along with decomposition, it may be difficult for authorities to determine the infant's cause of death.
A doctor called police after Richardson revealed she had given birth just days after her senior prom. A search warrant was executed on July 14, 2017, when the skeletal remains were discovered.
People took to social media to discuss the sighting of Richardson, the New York Post reported.
“My husband and I saw the teenage girl from Carlisle who killed and buried her own baby,” a social media wrote on a community Facebook page. “She was at the restaurant we were at, talking on her iPhone. How is someone who is awaiting trial for aggravated murder not in jail?!”
Two Facebook groups have been dedicated to the case and critics of the family have shot and posted video and photos of the family and their home, often with sharp commentary.
Kiley Alcorn, 17, a student at Carlisle High School and friend of Richardson’s, told the New York Post that some people wait outside the teen’s home.
“It’s definitely over the top,” Alcorn said. "The way people are reacting to it, especially adults, and the whole situation is sad.”
Another family friend said the case has caused a rift in their community.
“It’s divided a lot of people and it’s really sad,” the friend said. “The law says 'innocent until proven guilty' and she hasn’t even gone to trial yet and she’s been persecuted in this town and crucified.”
Those who were outraged over the case blamed Richardson’s good looks, affluent family and wont to avoid "tainting their image" as reasons she allegedly killed her child.
“Skylar and her family, particularly her mother, were pretty obsessed with external appearances and how things appeared to the outside world,” Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell. “You have a situation where, you know, she’s a cute high school graduate.”
However, friends insisted Richardson was a good person on the inside.
“These people only know her by her appearance,” said Alcorn, who bonded with Richardson on the cheerleading team. “She drove nice cars, lived in a nice house, but she was a good person on the inside, too.”
Richardson’s friends said people refrain from talking about the case at school because her younger brother and her boyfriend are students there. Her boyfriend, who went to prom with Richardson, was not identified as the baby's father.
In August 2017, Richardson pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder and other charges. She was previously indicted on charges that include involuntary manslaughter, child endangering, evidence tampering and corpse abuse in the death.
Prosecutors requested a $1 million bond, but the judge set bond at $50,000 with house arrest and electronic monitoring. She posted the bond and was released.
Richardson’s trial on charges that she killed and buried her newborn was on hold as an “appeals court rules on a medical testimony dispute.” It was slated to begin in April.
Richardson’s attorneys want a ruling to bar prosecutors from presenting testimony from an obstetrics-gynecology practice’s medical staff, citing physician-patient privilege. Prosecutors said the privilege doesn’t apply in this case.
The trial could be pushed back by as much as eight months.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.