Teen mom of buried newborn pleads not guilty

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CINCINNATI (AP) — An 18-year-old woman whose newborn's remains were buried outside her southwest Ohio home pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder and other charges on Monday.

Brooke Skylar Richardson entered the pleas at her arraignment in a Warren County court in Lebanon. She was indicted Friday on charges that also include involuntary manslaughter, child endangering, evidence tampering and corpse abuse in the May death.

Prosecutors requested a $1 million bond, but the judge set bond at $50,000 with house arrest and electronic monitoring required. A jail official said Richardson posted bond and was released later Monday.

Richardson's attorney, Charles M. Rittgers, said in an email after court that Richardson "did not kill her baby."

"We are currently waiting to receive the evidence the prosecutor claims supports the indictment," Rittgers said, adding that the process could take several weeks.

The baby's remains were found July 14 in Carlisle, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Cincinnati.

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell alleges Richardson gave birth to a full-term baby that was born alive about 38 to 40 weeks into the pregnancy and that Richardson "purposely caused" the death of the baby who was then burned and buried.

Fornshell said Friday that the cause of death hasn't been determined and may never be known, due to burning and decomposition.

The infant is believed to have been born sometime between May 6 and May 7, and was alive probably for only a few hours, according to authorities. They have been trying to determine the infant's sex and the father's identity.

Richardson delivered her baby only days after attending her senior prom, according to Fornshell.

The prosecutor wouldn't speculate on a specific motive, but has said he thinks evidence supports that Richardson was "pretty obsessed with external appearances and how she appeared to the outside world."

Investigators believe a "significant number of people in her life" likely had a strong suspicion before the birth that she was pregnant, Fornshell has said.

He also has said that no one else was charged, but that the investigation is continuing.

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