Brooke "Skylar" Richardson is accused of killing, burning and burying her newborn baby in her backyard.
"I think a lot of this, from my perspective, from viewing the evidence, came down to a situation that if members of the community were to find out that the Richardson girl was pregnant and perhaps gave birth and even if after giving birth, gave that child up for adoption, that was something that was not going to be accepted in that household, at least by Skylar and her mother", Fornshell said. The body of the newborn was discovered outside of her Carlisle home, about 40 miles north of Cincinnati, on July 14.
Appearing before Judge Donald Oda Monday morning, Richardson pleaded not guilty and her attorney requested a lower bond.
Richardson is facing charges including aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence.
The prosecutor alleges the baby was born alive about 38 to 40 weeks into the pregnancy and that Richardson "purposely caused" the death, then burned and buried the baby's remains. Law enforcement officers tasked with investigating the baby's death spent weeks sifting through and processing evidence before charging the teen mom with murder.
Authorities have not released the baby's gender and say that while they know who the father is, they will not share his identity. He has called the teen a "good person" but hasn't commented on the allegations.
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Authorities initially believed the baby had been stillborn sometime in May, but further investigation showed that the baby was alive at birth, Warren County prosecutor David Fornshell told PEOPLE previously.
Without explicitly providing a motive, he said: 'It was a perception issue and the teen's mother was concerned about appearances'. She wasn't a partier or a smoker'.
If convicted of aggravated murder, Richardson could face the death penalty.
Adding, 'By all measures a very good girl who helped children...
Richardson pleaded not guilty Monday in a Warren County court in Lebanon.
Police in Carlisle learned an infant had been buried in the backyard of Richardson's parents' house through a tip that originated from a doctor's office.
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