Things That Matter

Brooke Skylar Richardson, The Former High School Cheerleader From Ohio Who Buried Her Newborn, Has Been Acquitted

Brooke Skylar Richardson was charged with killing her newborn daughter and burying her in the backyard of her parent’s home. The 20-year-old from Ohio was found not guilty of aggravated murder and involuntary manslaughter. 

Richardson was, however, convicted for abuse of a corpse and sentenced to three years probation. After completing the three years she could potentially have the conviction expunged from her record. 

The unsettling story about the Ohio cheerleader, who according to prosecutors, executed her baby and covered it up as not to “ruin her perfect life,” gripped the media, garnering national attention in 2017. 

Brooke Skylar Richardson is accused of burning her baby alive. 

According to the Daily Beast, Richardson discovered she was pregnant in April 2017 while visiting the gynecologist to receive birth control for the first time. The 18-year-old kept the news that she was 32 weeks pregnant a secret. On her senior prom night, Richardson gave birth in the family bathroom. 

This is where dueling narratives occur. Richardson says her child was a stillbirth. Horrified, she dug a shallow grave in her backyard and buried the daughter she named Annabelle. The prosecutors claimed Richardson killed her baby, burned her body and then buried her because she didn’t want to give up her perfect life. 

“Assistant prosecutor Steven Knippen said in court that days after the baby’s death Richardson sent two text messages bragging about her [thinner] appearance,” according to NBC News.

However, the death only came to law enforcement’s attention because of Richardson’s own confession. When her gynecologist pressed her about the pregnancy, she told him about the stillbirth. The doctor reported her to the police for possible child abuse. 

“My biggest regret is not having the strength to tell someone that I was pregnant. I wish I would have done it differently,” Richardson told Cosmopolitan. “I’m plagued by guilt every day for not telling someone.”

Richardson claims the police coerced a confession out of her.

According to Richardson’s defense team, police questioned her for hours until she confessed to trying to cremate the remains of her baby.

Richardson would spend the next couple of years enduring a grueling trial where she endured bullying and harassment from members of her community that labeled her a “baby killer.” 

Despite a seemingly national smear campaign, a jury of seven women and five men found her not guilty after an eight-day trial in September. They found there was no evidence she burned her baby.

However, prosecutors remain certain that Richardson murdered Annabelle. They believe she has a personality disorder because she was sexually abused when she was 12 and that during her police interview, Richardson claimed she heard the baby making sounds and burned it with a lighter. 

“I understand why the jury did what they did. I get it. But, I do believe she killed her child. As I sit here today, I believe it. I understand there are proof issues,” prosecutor David Fornshell told Local 12. “The fact that she meets 15 out of the 15 criteria for neonaticide to just walk away, you know what, we’re not going to try. That’s not who we are.”

Richardson speaks out for the first time since being acquitted. 

Cosmopolitan published an interview with Richardson, where she spoke out about the ordeal for the first time. 

“I spent a lot of my time depressed,” Richardson said of the past two years. “Every night, I would lie down and wish that I could have died in place of Annabelle.”

When news spread about the criminal charges, most of Richardson’s friends abandoned her. Her community turned on her, many of whom would leak information to the press by snapping photos of her in her home. Others devoted Facebook groups to the trial where they would share conspiracy theories and say things like “burn Skylar alive.” 

“It was so hard to live knowing the truth but to have the whole world think otherwise,” she said. “The people out there who hate me so much and wish horrible things upon me also do not know me.”

Richardson deactivated social media and took up new hobbies like reading, cooking knitting, and doing her makeup every day even if she scarcely left the house. In the end, she kept at least one good friend.

“These things just happen—babies are stillborn— women shouldn’t be blamed for that,” Ashley, an old friend from middle school told Cosmopolitan. “It’s sickening what they have done to her. I just try to keep it as normal as possible and be there for her as a friend.” Another longtime friend says Skylar told her that she “misses her baby.”

Richardson told Cosmo that she didn’t take a plea deal, which reduced her charges from a life sentence to 15 years because she knew she wasn’t guilty. 

“I knew in my heart of hearts that I was innocent,” she said. In the end, a jury of her peers agreed. 

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El Chapo’s Wife Turns Herself In After Being Charged With Drug Smuggling and Trying to Break Him Out of Jail

Things That Matter

El Chapo’s Wife Turns Herself In After Being Charged With Drug Smuggling and Trying to Break Him Out of Jail

Photo via Getty Images

They say art imitates life, but sometimes, it’s the other way around. Once in a while, the news seems like it’s simply replaying scenes from La Reina del Sur. Especially the latest update on El Chapo’s wife.

On Monday Emma Coronel Aispuro, the wife of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, turned herself into the United States FBI on charges of international drug trafficking.

The U.S. authorities are charging Coronel with helping Guzmán smuggle drugs across the border, break out of prison, and bribe corrupt officials. According to anonymous officials, the U.S. authorities have had their eye on her for a while now.

For years, El Chapo’s wife Emma Coronel has insisted that she had nothing to do with her husband’s illegal activities. Because she always maintained her innocence, the former teen beauty-queen was able to keep a high profile since her husband was imprisoned in 2019. She was active on social media, gave interviews to news outlets, and even appeared on a reality series.

Coronel was born in San Francisco, but grew up in Mexico near El Chapo’s “territory”.

Her father was a prominent member of El Chapo’s cartel, and according to experts, she “grew up with knowledge of the narcotics trafficking industry.” She married Guzmán when she was 18-years-old. He was 50. Her and Guzmán have 9-year-old twin daughters together. As of now, the girls’ whereabouts are unknown.

According to official documents, the FBI has evidence that Coronel was a liaison between El Chapo and his sons, “Los Chapitos” when they were planning his notorious prison escape in 2015. Coronel also stands accused of acting as a messenger and negotiator for payments to corrupt authorities.

As of now, people are speculating that Coronel turned herself in in exchange for leniency.

“Her attorney at sentencing is going to argue, ‘She took it upon herself to face charges,’ she didn’t make the government go out and arrest and extradite her,” an anonymous source told Vice. “She came out of Mexico. It would have been quite a process to get her extradited.”

According to reports, Colonel faces 10 years to life in prison, and a fine of up to $10 million USD.

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Thirteen Years After Her Daughter’s Murder, Casey Anthony Is Producing A Documentary To ‘Clear Her Name’

Things That Matter

Thirteen Years After Her Daughter’s Murder, Casey Anthony Is Producing A Documentary To ‘Clear Her Name’

Updated Feb. 8, 2021.

In 2008, the death of Caylee Anthony gripped headlines across the United States after her mother Casey Anthony was charged with first-degree murder. The case attracted a significant amount of news attention and quickly became a media circus. Forty million people watched testimony in the case which became the main topic of talk shows across the country.

Now, thirteen years after her daughter’s death, Casey Anthony is back to making headlines. After enduring so much legal trouble, Anthony is thrusting herself back into the legal field again, this time for business.

Casey Anthony is raising eyebrows once again after filing paperwork to open a private investigation company in South Florida.

Anthony filed documents listing herself as a registered agent of Case Research & Consulting Services, LLC last December. Her business, according to People, was registered to a home in West Palm Beach owned by Patrick McKenna. During the time of her trial, McKenna worked as Anthony’s lead investigator.

According to state records, Anthony does not have a Florida private investigator’s license. As a convicted felon she will not be able to obtain a license.

Casey Anthony is also now pushing to become a movie producer.

 According to TMZ Anthony and co-producers, Tamra Simmons and Ebony Porter-Ike are setting out to produce a movie about her daughter’s murder in an effort to clear her name.

TMZ says that the producers behind the documentary say Anthony is “finally ready to clear her name, bring justice to her daughter, and begin the process of establishing her daughter’s legacy in a different light.”

“She knows what it’s like to be accused of something that she didn’t do,” a source told People. “She wants to help other wrongfully accused people, especially women, and help them get justice.” The source noted that Anthony has yet to obtain clients. “It’s in the very early stages,” explained the source. “She has big plans for her future, and hopes that it will change how people see her.”

In 2008, Anthony was charged with first-degree murder for the disappearance of her daughter Caylee.

Anthony’s case became notorious after it came out that she had not reported her daughter missing until 31 days after she disappeared. A massive search went underway for the toddler who was almost three. The search ended when her body was found in a wooded lot near Anthony’s family home.

On July 5, 2011, a jury found Casey not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter of a child. They did, however, find her guilty of four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer.

After she was acquitted, a Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger described Casey as “the court made a pretty strong statement that she was one of the most hated women in America.”

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