Pregnant bikini pic of accused baby killer
WARNING: Graphic content
NEW photos of the former high school cheerleader who allegedly killed her newborn baby girl and buried her in the backyard just days after her school formal have emerged at trial.
Brooke Skylar Richardson, 20, has denied murdering her baby, a girl she named Annabelle, when she was 17 and told a court in Ohio, US, she gave birth to a stillborn baby in secret in the middle of the night while her parents were sleeping.
Prosecutors, however, allege she killed the baby in May 2017 in horrific circumstances, allegedly crushing the little girl's skull, setting her on fire and burying the body in her backyard.
Ms Richardson's defence team have now started to present its defence, showing the jury photographs of her throughout her teenage years, including a bikini photo taken just six weeks before she gave birth.
The striking image of her with Brandon Saylor, her boyfriend in 2017, was taken during a Spring Break trip to Florida and shows the nearly full-term teen in a yellow bikini, she doesn't appear to have a visible bump.
Brandon was not the baby's father. Annabelle's dad is Trey Johnson, a different teenager who Ms Richardson had dated briefly in the summer of 2016.
At the time no one suspected she was pregnant and Ms Richardson herself hadn't had it confirmed until April 26 when she saw a doctor.
In another set of photos, taken from the teen's prom and just two days before she gave birth, Ms Richardson is wearing a sparkly figure-hugging red dress. Her belly was more pronounced in these photos.
Gynocologist Dr John E. White told the court that Ms Richardson's pregnancy was affected by intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR), a condition in which the foetus does not grow at a normal rate, local newspaper WCPO reports.
He said the way Ms Richardson described her newborn to authorities - white, not breathing or moving and with no heartbeat - was consistent with a stillbirth.
RICHARDSON: Dr. White says he found that Skylar could have had nutrient deficiency when she was pregnant - shows blood work report; now talking about IUGR again and how it is diagnosed - @WCPO— Evan Millward (@EvanMillward) September 10, 2019
Prosecutors on Monday played Ms Richardson's second interview with authorities, in which she said she tried to cremate the baby after repeatedly denying she burned the body.
The court was also shown text messages in which just hours after giving birth to Annabelle, Ms Richardson texted her boyfriend saying, "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."
Her dad Scott gave evidence, describing his shock to learn his daughter had been pregnant and had given birth in their family bathroom without his knowledge.
He explained Richardson had battled with anorexia and weight fluctuation and did not think her weight at the time she gave birth was odd.
"We were in shock. We didn't know she was pregnant, we had struggled with an eating disorder …" he told the court, according to a Daily Mail report.
"We would have taken (the baby) into the family. I think we would have been in shock and we probably would have been angry but …" he said.
At the end of his testimony, Scott tearfully told the jury: "She would never hurt another living being let alone a baby."
His wife Kim, the accused's mum, has yet to take the stand, but texts between her and Ms Richardson were shown to the court, discussing the teenager's plan to lose weight.
Ten days after giving birth, she texted her mum and told her she had lost 20lbs (9kgs). Jurors were also shown a selfie she took in the gym just hours after giving birth, showing her stomach.
Previously, the jury was shown the video footage from Ms Richardson's first police interrogation, where the teen broke down as she admitted she "never meant to hurt her".
The video evidence showed her insisting she did not kill the infant.
Retired Lieutenant John Faine, who interviewed the girl, asked her what made her think she might be pregnant.
"I was really big. I was pretty big," she responded.
"OK, you were getting a belly. Could you feel your baby?"
"Oh you … you could feel it."
Ms Richardson said she didn't sleep the night of May 7, because she had sharp cramps and pains in her lower back.
In the footage, she is seen weeping as she recalls giving birth in her bathroom. She claims the baby fell out of her while she was on the toilet and wasn't breathing when she was born.
She said the newborn didn't have a heartbeat and wasn't making any noise. She said she couldn't remember if the baby had an umbilical cord.
"I didn't kill her though," Ms Richardson said through tears. She said she had to bury the newborn because she "couldn't tell anybody".
"Is that really bad … I didn't mean any harm to her. Are you going to put me in jail because of that?" Ms Richardson asked.
Ms Richardson's parents, Kim and Scott Richardson, entered the room about an hour into the interview.
Her father said she should have told them she was pregnant. "You did a horrible thing … you got pregnant, you had a baby in our house, and you didn't tell us," he said.
Steve Knippen, an assistant prosecutor, told Warren County jurors that Ms Richardson tried to commit "the perfect crime," by killing an unwanted baby and then attempting to go back to her "perfect life".
Witness Dr William Andrew testified that when he informed her on April 26 she was pregnant, she exclaimed: "I can't have a baby! I'm going to college."
Ms Richardson was later charged with aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence and child endangering and has pleaded not guilty.
The trial continues.