Judge rejects bid to move murder trial, begins Sept. 3

By Dan Sewell - Associated Press

LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — The judge in the case of an Ohio woman accused of killing and burying her newborn daughter on Monday again rejected a defense bid to move the murder trial and said jury selection will begin Sept. 3.

Attorneys for Brooke Skylar Richardson, now 20, say her home county has been “bombarded” with pretrial publicity that has been prejudicial. They filed a motion to move the trial to another county.

However, Judge Donald Oda II said a pool of potential jurors will be summoned Sept. 3 to Warren County’s courthouse. It’s the second time he has turned down a defense request to move the trial. Potential jurors will face questioning from attorneys about their knowledge and opinions about the high-profile case .

Oda plans to have an initial jury pool of some 70 people. The trial is expected to last two to three weeks.

The former high school cheerleader has pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder and other charges in the death of her baby, whose remains were found in July 2017 in her family’s backyard in Carlisle, a village of some 5,000 people 40 miles (64.37 kilometers) north of Cincinnati. Her attorney has said the baby was stillborn.

Oda huddled privately for nearly an hour Monday morning with attorneys for both sides. He then met in his courtroom with representatives of news organizations about rules and logistics for covering the trial.

By Dan Sewell

Associated Press