An old cheerleader found not guilty of murdering her baby was sentenced for the burial of the child in her yard.
This story was originally published in the New York Post and has been republished here with permission.
The former Ohio State high school cheerleader, accused of killing and burying her newborn daughter a few days later, apologized to the baby's father and was released Friday, according to reported information.
Brooke Skylar Richardson, 20, of Carlisle, will serve three years on probation after being convicted Thursday of serious abuse on a corpse – but acquitted of aggravated murder, manslaughter and child endangerment charges .
Judge Donald Oda sentenced Richardson to a seven-day prison term in the county, but was credited for time spent in jail. If she breaks her probation, she can be jailed for up to one year in prison.
Speaking in front of the hearing room Friday before being convicted, Richardson made a dismal apology saying, "I'm sorry." I can sometimes be selfish, but I'm better. I'm sorry forever, "according to People.
"I hurt a lot of people. I am really, really sorry. And I understand, "she added.
Richardson's father, Scott Richardson, also went to court and demanded the release of his daughter.
"My daughter is suffering from a eating disorder and we are concerned about her health," he said.
Brooke Skylar Richardson was acquitted of murder, manslaughter and endangering a child.Source: Provided
A grotesque contempt for human life
Oda slammed Richardson into his decision.
"I think if you made different decisions, Annabelle would still be there," the judge said. "I think your choices before birth, during and after birth show a grotesque disregard for life."
The mother of Richardson's old boyfriend, Trey Johnson – the baby's father – read a moving statement in court.
"Not only did I lose my first grandchild, but my little boy also lost his daughter," said the mother. "For a baby she called" that ", we are just as much the family as she is.
"I saw my son become a different person," she continued. "I will not divulge her medical diagnosis because she has done enough for her. I can personally tell you that I have been personally seen for depression, panic attacks and that I am the shell of the person I was.
Trey's mother added, "I would have taken it with Trey without a question. Now, instead, every May 7, I do not get a birthday party for my first grandchild. Instead, I sent him balloons to heaven to tell him how much his father loved him and how much I loved him.
Brooke Skylar Richardson during his sentence Friday.Source: AP
Health deteriorated during the trial
Prosecutors alleged that Richardson did not intend to keep the child when she secretly set to work in the middle of the night. She was charged with killing the baby at term and then burying the baby in her parents' backyard.
Richardson's legal team, however, denied killing the baby, claiming that the child was stillborn.
Her lawyers said the health of the 20-year-old woman had deteriorated throughout the trial – and she dropped to 89 kilograms and lost her hair, according to the same source WLWT.
"She had been living under this black cloud for two years. Frankly, it's a nightmare and, hopefully, now that everything is behind it, it will get help, "said Charles H. Rittgers, the team's eldest legal father and son of the young woman.