Brooke Skylar Richardson’s motion to seal hearing ends without judge’s decision

WARREN COUNTY — Brooke Skylar Richardson will have to wait to see if her motion to seal her 2019 conviction will be approved.

News Center 7 was in Warren County Common Pleas Court for the motion to seal hearing for Richardson’s conviction. There, Judge Donald Oda II did not issue a decision. Instead, Oda said he would consider the arguments and issue a decision in writing.

In the hearing, which lasted less than five minutes, Richardson declined comment when given the opportunity to speak by Oda.

“My issue is whether or not I want the internet or the record to be the last word on this. The truth about what happened may never be known, but the facts, the unvarnished, unedited, unaltered facts about what is alleged to have occurred are here. And I do have a difficult time in taking those records away,” Oda said.

An attorney for Richardson, 23, filed motion to seal her 2019 conviction on Aug. 12. The filing came 19 months after Oda granted a request to terminate Richardson’s probation early.

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Prosecutors filed an opposition to Richardson’s motion Sept. 1, arguing that “sealing the records and conviction of the case would diminish the seriousness of her offense.”

Richardson was convicted of gross abuse of a corpse after she had her baby in secret and buried her in the backyard of her Carlisle home in May 2017. She served 14 months of the three-year probation sentence.

She was acquitted on charges of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter, and child endangering, and the Warren County prosecutor said that was most likely because the prosecution couldn’t produce a cause of death of the baby, News Center 7 previously reported.

At the hearing to end her probation, Oda said he was aware of the perception in the case, but said the reality was Richardson was convicted of a low-level felony and had no prior record. He said there had never been any issues with Richardson since her sentencing or before her trial.

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Richardson told the court she wanted “to be a normal person again.” She also said she’d been working on her mental health and wanted to be able to go to college and eventually become a public defender to continue in society.

Its unknown at this time when Oda will issue his decision on the motion. We’ll provide updates when we learn more.