From the day the police showed up at her family’s house to the day she was acquitted of murder, Brooke Skylar Richardson never spoke publicly about what happened to the baby girl whom she named Annabelle and said was born stillborn. As strangers branded her a “baby killer” and she stared down the possibility of life in prison, the 20-year-old Ohio woman kept her feelings to herself.
Richardson’s silence ended Friday, when she stood in a Warren County courtroom for her sentencing hearing. Addressing a judge and briefly turning to the rest of the room, she apologized repeatedly.
“I just wanted to say how sorry I was,” she said. “I can sometimes be selfish, but I would like to think that I’ve become better in the knowledge that I’ve upset everyone and hurt so many people with what I’ve done. And I’m forever sorry.”
It was the conclusion of what Richardson’s attorneys called a “nightmare,” a tabloid saga in which the former high school cheerleader was accused of killing her newborn two days after her May 2017 prom. The lurid details of the case – including recanted allegations that Richardson burned the baby’s corpse before burying it in her family’s backyard – drew national headlines and turned the young woman into a pariah in her small hometown.