Sleuth Syndicate

Skylar Richardson Trial

  • Posted by: Sleuth Syndicate
  • Category: Skylar Richardson

The Trial of OH Vs. Skylar Richardson

skylar richardson

The verdict in the trial of Skylar Richardson shattered social media dividing people between justice not being served and the jury got it right. Why is there such a huge divide? Well after pouring through hundreds of comments on the CourtTV Facebook page I have come to some conclusions.

1. People didn’t watch the trial
2. People turned this case in to a “privilege” situation
3. People do not understand the law
4. People lead with emotions not facts

I have been following true crime since I was a teenager and discovered Ann Rule books. For over 30 years I have read about cases, watched countless documentaries/trials, sifted through case files when I have access to them, and even created a scene reenactment a time or two. I clearly missed my calling. 😀

The case of Skylar Richardson had guilty written all over it. For two years the media had portrayed Skylar as a selfish high school girl who didn’t want to ruin her life for a baby. The prosecution told us she killed her baby. The prosecution told us she burned her baby. Of course we all believed it. We believed it because it was a well known fact that Skylar buried baby Annabelle in her backyard. Why wouldn’t we believe the rest?

My initial opinion was she was likely guilty of all charges and this would be a slam dunk for the prosecution. As the days unfolded my opinion quickly changed. As a matter of fact it only took two days for me to totally change my mind. For those of you who are on the justice wasn’t served train I implore you to take a deep breathe and keep reading. I also don’t want you to take my word or opinion as gold. If you have the time I suggest you watch the entire trial. Clear your mind of the headlines about the case and watch with your own eyes how it all went down.

In my opinion the jury got this right. The prosecution didn’t prove Annabelle was born alive. The interrogation videos as well as the video with Skylar and her parents helped the defense much more than they helped the prosecutions case. Skylar buried her baby in a location that was in her view everyday from her bedroom window. In most cases where a mother kills her baby they typically throw them away or bury them far away from them, to distance themselves. Skylar kept her close, just my opinion but this is telling.

Skylar was facing five serious charges. Aggravated murder, manslaughter, child endangerment, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence which was later dropped. In order for Skylar to be convicted of aggravated murder, manslaughter, and child endangerment the prosecution would have to prove the baby was born alive. The charge of tampering with evidence was dismissed. This charge was dismissed because of the way the law works. The prosecution claims Skylar discarded of all evidence to avoid being found out about. The problem with this charge is Skylar would have had to have known at the time that she was being investigated and knowingly discarded evidence. Since Skylar wasn’t under investigation at the time that she discarded evidence she could not be in violation.

In my opinion the prosecution fumbled this case big time. I actually think this trial should have never had happened. Here is a brief overview of the events that took place and led to the trial.

Skylar Richardson had gone to the doctor to get birth control pills. While she was at the doctors office they did a pregnancy test and the results came back positive. Skylar immediately panicked and told the doctor that she didn’t want a baby and couldn’t tell her family. The doctor did further examinations and determined Skylar had about ten weeks left to go. He told her she needed to make a follow up appointment two weeks later.

Skylar left the doctors office and went to school. Shortly after she received a text message from her mom. He mom stated she received an email from the doctors office that said PT pregnant. She asked Skylar what that meant and Skylar replied that she didn’t know and she would call the doctor later. Her mom immediately told her that if she was pregnant she ruined her life and that she needed to call the doctor and clear things up. (Opinion: Skylar was freaking out she just found out she was pregnant and without any time to absorb this information her mom immediately closes the door to Skylar telling her with the way she reacted in regards to the email.)

Skylar at some point did some internet searches about how to get rid of a baby. She was honest with investigators about these searches and she said she didn’t act on anything she read.

Just eleven days after Skylar found out she was pregnant Skylar gave birth to what she says was a stillborn baby. Skylar said she had her baby in the middle of the night in her bathroom. She said her baby came out white, not breathing, not making any noise, not opening her eyes, and no heartbeat. During the interrogation she is asked about the umbilical cord. Skylar said it was not attached and she did not cut it. Skylar said she held her baby for a little bit then she took her outside, dug a grave, and buried her as well as placing flowers on top of her grave.

A couple months later Skylar went back to the doctor to refill her birth control prescription. While at the doctors office they asked her about her pregnancy and the baby. Skylar broke down and told the doctor that she had a stillborn and buried her in her backyard. The doctors office informed the police and that is how the case against Skylar Richardson started.

Skylar is questioned by police and assured she wasn’t in trouble and they were just piecing the puzzle together and had questions. (Video below) Skylar then informs her parents (video below). Skylar is released after the interrogation. She shows detectives the burial spot. Annabelle’s body is recovered and sent to in for testing. Initially the detectives were informed by the forensics anthropologist that the baby was burned. This is what led to a second interrogation of Skylar.

In the second interrogation Skylar is confronted with this new discovery and her reaction is that of shock. She was adamant that she did not burn her. She denies this several times. As the detectives press Skylar she then says she may have burned her. Soon they had her describing a small fire with flames up to the babies chest. They continue to press Skylar and tell her that if she loved her baby she would admit that she was born alive. This was a hard interrogation video to watch.

The second interrogation resulted in the charges brought up against Skylar. During the two year wait for the trial the prosecution was informed that the forensic anthropologist had recanted and no longer believes Skylar tried to burn the baby.

Even though the prosecution knew that the burning did not take place they still proceeded to fit that in to their narrative based off her words alone even though she denied it over seventeen times.

The trial lasted eight days in total. The prosecution didn’t deliver what they promised in their opening statements. As a matter of fact this case was a bit backwards. Instead of proving their case beyond a reasonable doubt they chose to use a different strategy. They chose to try and poke holes in the defense presentation and they failed miserably.

I believe Skylar was a young girl who had a history of eating disorder that was probably caused by her mother. I think Skylar had a stillborn and didn’t know what to do so she buried her. I believe that Annabelle died as a result of Skylar being in labor without being monitored. Skylar was in labor for approximately thirty-six hours. With Skylar’s eating disorder and lack of prenatal care contributed to a stillbirth. These things do not and can not be taken into consideration when determining guilt or innocence. Basically in Ohio a pregnant mother can do drugs and/or avoid prenatal care and still not be held responsible. This is plain and simple the law. I believe that if Skylar delivered a live baby she would have told her parents and struggled through their wrath and she would have a two year old now and we wouldn’t know anything about any of this.

I think with the reaction Skylar received from her mom just off the notion that she could possibly be pregnant put Skylar in a spot where she was too scared to do anything so she did nothing. She also felt she had ten weeks to muster up the courage to expose her secret. That was cut short fast. One thing the prosecution tried to hang their hat on was the fact that Skylar hadn’t purchased diapers or anything. This is a wild copout in my opinion. It had just been two weeks, did they expect a full blown nursery?

I believe the prosecution relied on feelings over fact. Let’s face it if Skylar was on trial in the court of public opinion she would have gone down. I think the reason for this is the misleading headlines that drove the public into emotions that they couldn’t pull back from. People closed their minds to facts. Luckily the jury members took their job seriously and came to a verdict that followed the law.

My opinion doesn’t mean that I think Skylar did the right thing. She absolutely did not. She hid her pregnancy, she delivered her baby without anyone knowing, she buried her, and went on with her life. That must be a horrible burden to carry alone. That being said I do believe what Skylar initially told detectives was accurate. She delivered a stillborn baby and buried her.

The prosecution could not prove Annabelle was born alive, they had plenty of excuses on why they couldn’t meet their burden of proof. That’s unfortunate for them and they should have evaluated their evidence against the laws. They wanted you to believe her words and not the science. To me they clearly were banking on emotions. I am sure the jury members all feel Skylar did wrong but they can’t convict off feelings they need cold hard facts. The prosecution simply did not deliver.

Skylar was convicted of abuse of a corpse. In my opinion this charge was almost a not guilty too. The jurors had a question regarding this charge which led me to believe they even struggled with this. They weren’t sure if burying a body on person property was illegal or not. They did not get the clarification they wanted and I believe decided that there was enough there to convict.

Many people are upset she didn’t serve any time for this charge. It’s a felony after all. Well this is another, it’s the law. The abuse of a corpse charge even though it is a felony it is a low level felony and comes with restrictions on sentencing. This particular charge could only come with prison time if the violator had prior felonies. Basically the only course of action the judge had was probation.

This is a horribly sad case for all parties. Annabelle never had a chance to take her first breath, Skylar went through a tragic experience by herself and then made some very bad decisions, and extended family and friends were negatively affected by Skylar’s actions.

My hope is that Skylar gets help and goes on to live a productive life with a family of her own and that she never forgets about Annabelle. Skylar made some devastating mistakes but those mistakes do not have to ruin the rest of her life. She now has an opportunity to make some major changes in her life thanks to a jury that followed the law when deciding her fate.

This case was live streamed and I think that was a good thing. It allowed for the public to watch for themselves and soak in the facts against the headlines. Sadly many people didn’t watch the trial and stay stuck in their opinion that Skylar is a vile human that murdered her baby and burned her body. From reading comments all over social media regarding this case there was a trend. The trend was the people who watched the trial agreed with the jury. The people who didn’t watch the trial continued to spew things that were proven to not be true. If you didn’t agree to get on the hate train you were a troll or just as vile as Skylar was in their minds. To be honest it was comical.

A lesson that everyone can take away from this trial is to not form an opinion without all the facts and to set aside your emotions. I encourage any of you who have read this far and still think I am wrong and she deserves do rot to watch the trial. Watch every second of it and get informed on the laws regarding the charges that were brought up against Skylar.

Here is a brief breakdown of the trial day by day. I will also provide links to the parts that are available. You can find all of these videos on They don’t have all of the trial up as of today.

September 4, 2019 Day 1

There was a lot to unpack on the first day of trial. We heard both sides present their opening statements. We saw the father of baby Annabelle take the stand and testify to what he knew or what he didn’t know regarding Skylar and the baby. There were graphic photos of the gravesite and some telling texts between Skylar and her mother.

Watch Day 1:

Prosecution Opening
Defense Opening
Father of the baby testifies
Warning Graphic content* Gravesite
Texts to mom

One thing that caught my attention was you can see Skylar visibly shaking during the testimony regarding the gravesite as the images are revealed. Another thing is during the defense opening they show us a glimpse of the interrogation videos, we see them all later in the trial. During this clip we see the investigator recap Skylar’s version of what happened. This isn’t word for word (you can watch on the links above). Basically Skylar said she had Annabelle in her bathroom. She said she was not alive, she wasn’t breathing and her eyes never opened. She held her for a little bit then she took her to the backyard and buried her. A second snip of the interrogation was played showing the compassion given to Skylar from one investigator in the form of holding her hand.

Day 1 down and I have started to have some mixed feelings on what I originally thought this case was all about.

Watch Day 2:

First Police Interview
Skylar tells her parents

Day two was interesting to say the least. We get to watch the investigators interview Skylar. You can watch that in the link above. It was no doubt interesting but it wasn’t the most interesting event of the day. We also watched Skylar tell her parents for the first time. Skylar sitting in the defendants chair, still shaking and looking very frail and scared she watched along with us.

The video with her parents was very telling. They were not aware that they were being filmed so we got to see the family in the raw. Her dad trying to wrap his mind around what he just heard. Her mom turning the situation to be all about her, the embarrassment she faces and jabs at Skylar with a food triggers. We also see Skylar beg for her parents to still love her and forgive her for what she has done.

Watch Day 3:

Autopsy Testimony
Forensics Pathologist Testimony
Forensic Anthropologist Testimony

Watch Day 4:

Investigator Testimony/Bedroom rearranged
Second Interrogation
Prosecution Rests

Watch Day 5:

Skylar’s Father Testifies
OBGYN Expert Testifies
False Confession Expert

Watch Day 6:

Psychologist Testifies
Defense Rests

Watch Day 7:

Prosecution Closing Arguments
Defense Closing Arguments
Prosecution Rebuttal/Jury Instructions
Jury Question

Watch Day 8:


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Author: Sleuth Syndicate