NEWS

Cheerleader found NOT GUILTY of murder after burying her newborn baby in backyard two days after prom

She was convicted of gross abuse of a corpse

The cheerleader buried her newborn baby in the backyard has been found not guilty of murder, manslaughter and child endangerment.

Skylar Richardson, now 20, was 18 years old when she gave birth secretly in the bathroom of her family home.

She had been facing life in prison if convicted of murder but instead it took a jury three hours to find her guilty of gross abuse of a corpse and she faces a maximum of 12 months in jail.

Skylar burst into tears as the verdict was read out while her mum Kim mouthed: ‘We love you baby.. it’ll be okay.’

https://twitter.com/Local12/status/1172240260979445760/photo/1

She will spend at least one night locked up ahead of her sentencing on Friday. But her attorneys don’t expect her to be given a custodial sentence.

‘She’s done enough time in this small town,’ they said. 

In May 2017, Skylar gave birth in the middle of the night on the toilet while her parents were asleep. She said the baby girl, who she named Annabelle, was stillborn and she buried her in the backyard.

However, prosectors claimed she killed the baby by smashing its skull with a rock then set fire to the corpse in a bid to keep it a secret.

While being interviewed by detectives, Skylar did confess to trying to ‘cremate her little girl’ but her attorney said the confession was coerced. 

Earlier in the week, the defense showed several photos of Skylar before, during and after her pregnancy, including on the night of her prom – just two days before she gave birth.

xx
Images of Skylar Richardson shared in court. (Credit: Court handout.)

Despite being heavily pregnant at her prom on May 5, no one realised she was pregnant. Her family said that due to an eating disorder her weight often fluctuated. 

The court heard how her family’s obsession with appearance contributed to Skylar’s fear over the pregnancy out of wedlock. She also developed a personality disorder after being sexually abused at 12 which made her ‘eager to please’.

Skylar herself knew she was pregnant as a doctor had confirmed it on April 26.

She was arrested in July when she went back to the same doctor’s practice where her pregnancy was diagnosed to ask for birth control.

In a text to her boyfriend Brandon Saylor just hours after giving birth, Skylar said she’d had a bad night: ‘I’ll tell you about it later but last night was like the worst ever and I didn’t go to sleep till 5.30 but I feel sooooo much better this morning I’m happy.’ 

Brandon wasn’t the baby’s father, it was Trey Johnson, another teenager who she’d had a fling with.

xx
The court saw how Skylar Richardson’s weight fluctuated. (Credit: Court handout)

Skylar Richardson has been under house arrest at her home in Ohio, USA, for more than a year where she’s been tracked by GPS monitoring.

She will be sentenced on Friday. 

Related stories