Low bond causes outrage in Skylar Richardson case
WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) -- Skylar Richardson is home. The teenager posted bail, and is charged with murdering her newborn baby and burying it in her back yard. The prosecution asked for huge bail number, but was denied, and now people are outraged with some people posting #ThisIsAJoke on social media.
"Had it been somebody else, had it been a man or another woman, or something like that, it may have been a million-dollar bond, they may still be in there," Carlisle resident RC Buckner said.
Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell asked for a $1 million bond, but the judge decided on $50,000. The 18-year-old made bail, after pleading not guilty in court on Monday. Her plea makes her innocent until proven guilty, but not in the court of public opinion.
Experts say her bond is based off the likelihood she shows up for court and if the community is at risk.
“Bond is not a form of punishment,” Defense Attorney Jon Paul Rion said, “And should be no reflection of the case itself.”
Rion is a well-known defense attorney, but is not on the case. He says a $50,000 bond is common for a murder charge.
“It should only be the exception that a million-dollar bond is looked for,” Rion said.
In the Richardson case, she and her parents surrendered their passports. Rion calls it a voluntary move to show they won't flee.
“Whether a defendant, or their family, turn in their passports is clearly a factor,” Rion said of a judge’s decision to reduce a bond.
Judge Donald Oda II decided her ties to the area were enough to keep her at home under house arrest. Richardson’s attorney, Charles Rittgers, made it clear to the judge on Monday that Richardson has no means to support herself other than her parents.
Right now it isn't clear how the baby died, and prosecutors say they may never know. Fornshell and Rittgers will be back to in court next Tuesday to hold a chamber conference with the judge where a court date may be set.