The Latest: Young mom cleared of murder may still do time

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Brooke Skylar Richardson, right, talks to her attorney Charles M. Rittgers after her sentencing hearing, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, in Lebanon, Ohio. Richardson, acquitted the day before of killing her newborn but convicted of corpse abuse, was sentenced to three years’ probation, was sentenced to three years’ probation. (Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP, Pool)

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on a young Ohio mother’s murder trial (all times local):

4:35 p.m.

A young Ohio mother who was acquitted of charges that she killed and buried her newborn is scheduled to be sentenced on a corpse abuse charge.

Brooke Skylar Richardson faces sentencing Friday. The charge could mean prison time but she could get probation as a first-time offender.

A Warren County jury deliberated for four hours Thursday before acquitting the 20-year-old of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.

She broke into tears as the first verdicts were read.

Richardson didn’t respond when reporters later asked her if she had anything to say. She was led away in handcuffs.

Prosecutors say Richardson hid her unwanted pregnancy and buried her baby in her family’s backyard in 2017. Her defense says the baby was stillborn and that the teen was sad and scared.

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3:55 p.m.

Jurors have acquitted a young Ohio mother of charges that she killed and buried her newborn.

The Warren County jury deliberated for four hours Thursday before acquitting 20-year-old Brooke Skylar Richardson of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.

She was found guilty of corpse abuse.

Prosecutors contended that the high school cheerleader wanted to keep her “perfect life.” They say she hid her unwanted pregnancy and buried her baby in her family’s backyard in May 2017, within days of her senior prom.

Her defense said the baby she named “Annabelle” was stillborn and that the teen was sad and scared.

The remains were found in July 2017 in Carlisle, a village about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Cincinnati.

Richardson faced life in prison if she had been convicted.

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11:50 a.m.

Jurors have begun deliberations in the murder trial of a young Ohio woman accused of killing and burying her newborn daughter.

Warren County assistant prosecutor Julie Kraft said in closing arguments Thursday that Brooke Skylar Richardson’s unwanted baby wasn’t part of the high school cheerleader’s plans to keep her “perfect life.”

Defense attorney Charles M. Rittgers told jurors that prosecutors stuck with inaccurate information even though they knew it was false. He emphasized reasons to doubt their case and said Richardson repeatedly told authorities the baby wasn’t alive when she gave birth in 2017.

The baby’s remains were found in her family’s backyard.

The jury of seven women and five men began deliberations late Thursday morning.

Richardson, now 20, faces life in prison if convicted of murder.

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9:55 a.m.

A prosecutor says a young Ohio woman killed and buried her newborn daughter because she wanted to keep her “perfect life.”

Warren County assistant prosecutor Julie Kraft told jurors in closing arguments Thursday that Brooke Skylar Richardson’s baby wasn’t part of the high school cheerleader’s plans and was unwanted.

A jury of seven women and five men is expected to begin deliberations after closing arguments from both sides.

Richardson’s attorneys say her baby was stillborn and that she was sad and scared afterward.

She was 18 when she secretly gave birth in 2017, then buried the infant in her family’s backyard in southwest Ohio. Richardson later told a doctor, who alerted police.

Richardson, now 20, could face life in prison if she is convicted of aggravated murder.

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5:30 a.m.

Both sides will make their closing arguments in the murder trial of a young Ohio woman accused of killing and burying her newborn daughter.

Warren County Judge Donald Oda II set the closings for Thursday morning, after Brooke Skylar Richardson’s attorneys rested their case Wednesday. They say her baby was stillborn and that she was sad and scared afterward.

A forensic pathologist for the prosecution said the baby died from “homicidal violence,” but Mississippi’s chief medical examiner challenged that conclusion while testifying Wednesday for the defense.

Richardson, now 20, could face life in prison if she is convicted.

She was 18 when she secretly gave birth in 2017, then buried the infant in her family’s backyard in southwest Ohio. Richardson later told a doctor, who alerted police

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