Buried baby case hits home here

As some Monroe Countians may have watched the closing of the trial for Brooke “Skylar” Richardson this past week, most didn’t truly understand a deep Monroe County connection.
The baby which Richardson was accused of murdering then burying in her backyard was the granddaughter of Monroe County native Tracy (Coburn) Johnson.
Johnson, who now lives in Ohio, was able to speak on the record this past week about the case after having to remain silent for the past two years. “I also chose to remain silent to protect my son throughout this matter.”
Richardson, who at 17 became pregnant by Johnson’s son Trey, was found not guilty of the infant’s murder but was found guilty on a charge of abuse of a corpse after the jury found she buried the baby in her backyard where it decomposed for over two months before being found.
The former cheerleader, now 20, was acquitted of aggravated murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment on Thursday, Sept. 12.
Jurors in the Ohio courtroom found her guilty of the improper burial of the baby she named “Annabelle” in May of 2017, which the many surrounding the case noted was a reference to a horror movie being released at that time.
Richardson was then sentenced to three years probation, with credit for seven days she already has spent in custody. If she is found to violate that probation, she could spend up to a year in jail.
Johnson spoke during the victim’s impact portion of the sentencing and read a statement on how the past two years have affected her and her son, Trey.
“She called this baby an ‘it’, and never even told Trey she was pregnant,” Johnson noted.
“Not only did I lose my first grandchild, but my baby boy lost his daughter,” said Johnson. “For a baby that she called ‘it,’ we’re just as much the family as she is.”
Johnson also told the Court that she would have taken the baby without a second thought, “Now, instead, every May 7, I don’t get to have a birthday party for my first grandchild. Instead, I send her balloons to heaven, to tell her how much her daddy loved her, and how much I loved her.”
While Richardson was a senior in high school, but cut ties with Johnson’s son Trey before she found out she was pregnant, blocking him on all social media. He had no idea she was pregnant until the baby’s body had been found and investigators were asking for his DNA sample, Trey’s mother said.
Richardson told no one of her pregnancy, Johnson said, not even her family. “She delivered, cleaned up and buried the baby in her backyard 11 days after she was told she was pregnant and it had a healthy heartbeat,” Johnson added.
Judge Oda told Richardson that baby Annabelle likely would have been alive today if not for her decisions to conceal the pregnancy and birth.
“I believe if you had made different decisions, [the baby] would still be here,” Oda said. “I think that your choices before birth, during birth and after birth show a grotesque disregard for life.”
Johnson’s family has set up a post office box for anyone wishing to send cards to the family, that address is PO Box 751042, Dayton, Ohio 45475.

2 Comments

  1. Deanna on September 24, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    What is wrong with our judicial system? Just a slap on the hand for murder an innocent precious Gift of God. Sad days we live in.

  2. Greta Melton on September 25, 2019 at 6:44 am

    So sorry for the loss of a little angel 💔 prayers for you all .

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