Defense seeks new venue for Carlisle cheerleader in buried baby case


Attorneys for a Carlisle teen accused of killing her infant and then burning and burying the body in the backyard of her home filed a motion to have her trial moved from Warren County. The judge provided a strongly worded response.

Brooke Skylar Richardson, 18, is charged with aggravated murder and several other felonies. Prosecutors say the cheerleader gave birth to a baby girl on May 6 or 7, caused the baby’s death and then covered it up by burning and burying the newborn in the yard. She is free on $50,000 bond.

Charles H. Rittgers and Charles M. Rittgers filed a motion Friday for a change of venue to move the trial “for the reasons contained in the following memorandum.”

EXCLUSIVE: Prosecutor outlines challenges in Carlisle buried baby case

That memorandum apparently was four pages long and contained specifics of the case. Last year, Warren County Judge Donald Oda II issued a gag order prohibiting all parties involved in the case from making public statements about the case.

In his response to the change of venue motion, Oda said, “this case is not going to be tried in the press.”

Oda added in his response that the memorandum attached by the defense “is highly inflammatory and prejudicial to the administration of justice in this case.”

The judge said the defense memorandum “contained references to opinions of expert witnesses, who may or may not be called as witnesses at the trial of this matter and directly quotes at least one expert report …”

The filing was described by Oda as a “self-serving recitation of facts,” with characterization of the defendant’s mental state and other information that poses a “serious and imminent threat” to the jury pool.

MORE: We talked with both sides in Carlisle buried baby case before the gag order. Here’s what they said

The judge ordered the defense memorandum supporting the change of venue motion stricken from the record. Only pages 1 and 6 of that document, the request and attorneys’ signatures, is now part of the record.

Oda said the case will not be tried in the press, “nor will it be tried in the pleadings. It is particularly troubling that such an inflammatory and prejudicial memorandum would accompany a motion for change of venue.”

The judge then limited attorneys from making reference to multiple elements of the case, including the identity of prospective witnesses, information regarding the alleged victim, the possibility of agreed disposition between parties and any opinion or discussion of evidence.

MORE: Carlisle teen delivered stillborn baby and had eating disorder, family says

A pre-trial conference in the case is scheduled for Feb. 20. A hearing is set for March 14, and Richardson’s trial is scheduled to begin April 16.

Defense attorneys have said Richardson did not kill her baby. The prosecution previously said the baby was born alive. Warren County Coroner Dr. Russell Uptegrove has said the exact cause of death may never be known due to the condition of the remains.




Next Up in Local

Family confronts Dayton police during man’s arrest, prompts ‘Signal 99’ call for assistance
Family confronts Dayton police during man’s arrest, prompts ‘Signal 99’ call for assistance

Family members confronting police officers after they took an armed man to the ground during an arrest prompted a “Signal 99” call for officers in need of urgent assistance. The incident began when officers tried make a traffic stop, but the vehicle fled, Dayton police Sgt. Ryan Halburnt said. Shortly afterward, they found the vehicle...
Amazon’s site working after crash kicks off Prime Day
Amazon’s site working after crash kicks off Prime Day

Amazon’s website appears to be back up and running after it crashed shortly after Prime Day began. During the crash, customers could still search for regular items through normal search bars, access their shopping carts and click through Amazon devices, but customers couldn’t make purchases during the first hour of the sale. RELATED: Prime...
Department of Justice indicts 7 people for stealing $1.5M in online dating scam
Department of Justice indicts 7 people for stealing $1.5M in online dating scam

Seven Nigerian nationals have been indicted for conducting an online dating scam that cost lovelorn victims more than $1.5 million, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia said in a Friday news release. >> Read more trending news  The seven defendants created fake profiles on dating sites, sometimes...
Grandma was right: Why it's good for your health to be outdoors
Grandma was right: Why it's good for your health to be outdoors

Sure, there are treadmills at climate-controlled gyms and Nintendo's Wii is still going strong with indoor workouts like Zumba Fitness 2. And yet, old-fashioned advice to "go outside and play" is still the best for your health, according to researchers the world over. In one study published by the NCBI, researchers...
 Off-duty Troy firefighter dies unexpectedly
 Off-duty Troy firefighter dies unexpectedly

An off-duty Troy firefighter/paramedic passed away unexpectedly Friday evening. Jason Holfinger, 38, died unexpectedly at his Covington home, according to his obituary. He is survived by his wife and three children. Holfinger joined the Troy Fire Department in 2013. Grief counseling has been offered to Troy firefighters. Visitation will be at ...
More Stories