BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ) — There are new details on a case that has shaken Harford County—a high school student accused of murdering his father.

Mike Hellgren has the latest on an arraignment for the teenager at the center of the investigation.

As 16-year-old Robert Richardson sits in a jail cell in Harford County, we’re learning more about how this case will progress. What will happen to Richardson, the teenage who allegedly shot his father to death last month and whose case has divided and shaken his close-knit community in Harford County?

It’s a question that weighs on the minds of loved ones, as revealed in a recent WJZ investigation.

“It just hit me right here, right in the center of my heart, that the boy snapped,” said cousin Mary Jane Richardson.

Investigators described a grisly crime scene, pools of blood throughout the family’s home in Bel Air. Some friends and family members believe Richardson, a high school student, was abused, although prosecutors have yet to reveal a motive.

Dozens of supporters launched a Facebook page, collecting donations for his defense. They’ve now raised enough money to hire a private lawyer for him.

“He is aware of us and he cried. He is aware of us now,” said supporter Eileen Siple. “He is not an adult by any means. Seeing his face, he’s just a baby. He’s a boy.”

Police say Richardson has admitted to them that he shot his dad but some question whether he should be tried in juvenile court. The state’s attorney says by law, Richardson must be tried as an adult and plans to personally prosecute the case.

WJZ has learned prosecution and defense lawyers will meet in two weeks, when they plan to set a trial date.

“I know that there were so many signs that something was wrong in that house and too many people looked the other way,” said supporter Crystal Testerman.

Authorities found the body of Richardson’s father in a pond, a few miles from where he was killed.

Comments (23)
  1. maryland resident says:

    a baby my ass he is cold blooded killer

    1. Rae says:

      You have no idea what was going on in that house. So don’t speak on that which you obviously know nothing about.

      1. commonsense711 says:

        And you Rae, who seems to have so much knowledge of what was going on in the house, what did you do to help the boy? Thats right nothing, typical big mouth do nothing. You should be ashamed and are guilty of not helping thus causing this murder. Shame, shame, shame

      2. hooty-hoot says:

        COMMONSENSE? I think not. Common sense would imply that a person of intelligence refrains from verbally assaulting fellow community members because it a) is futile and b) reflects poorly on one’s own character. Just thought I’d mention it.

        As for the chilld, a commenter on a separate thread of this story made a very good point: One with common sense could not possibly look at this boy’s life experience and expect him to make fully rational and responsible decisions. With only the facts available to the general public, he was in adolescence, he recently lost his mother, his father was neglectful and/or abusive. What he needed was to be loved and cared for and respected and taught… but no. None of that happened and some sit here feigning shock and horror at what HE did. I don’t know anyone connected with this, but I can say that we, as a society, have rejected our responsibility to our community by distancing ourselves from what we see and hear with our own senses out of fear of being called NOSEY or being wrong… I’d rather be nosey AND wrong than impotent and let a child fall like this.

      3. maryland resident says:

        i do i was there and helped him cause we was both thugs

      4. Anonymous says:

        See his brother’s comments below.

  2. Rae says:

    1. That’s my cousin.
    2. I did what I could AFTER I FOUND OUT what was going on.
    3. Shame me all you want. What exactly is it that you are doing with what it is that YOU know at this point in time?

    1. Eduardo says:

      A lot of kids are neglected & even abused & never grow into murderers, stop making excuses for this little prick.

  3. Rae says:

    1. That’s my cousin.
    2. I did what I could AFTER I FOUND OUT what was going on.
    3. Shame me all you want. What exactly is it that you are doing with what it is that YOU know at this point in time?

    Please enlighten me. I would love to know. I’m sure the rest of my family would, too.

  4. Dawn says:

    It’s very sad that a young boy was pushed to something so horrific. He has to live with that the rest of his life regardless of what the legal system does to him. It goes to show what Maryland does to help children in that type of situation. I hope he gets the therapy he needs. Prayers to him and his family

  5. B.J.J says:

    He is a MURDER he is old enough to know better if he was being abused he could have went for help he could have told someone at school lie a counsler but he killed hisFather in cold blood, others who have commited such a crime had to pay the consquences as should he , beating a child if infact that was the case is wicked but so is MURDER!

    1. B.J.J says:

      Murderer, Like , correcting my spelling errors

    2. derrick says:

      you are absolutely right he knew what he was doing and he need to pay the price. no excuses for him, stop making excuses. this animal needs to be locked away

    3. GM says:

      If a person is old enough to know right from wrong, there is no reason good enough to kill, except in self-defense. It gets me that if a person has a gun for no legal reason on his or her person, they dont always say its premeditated. It is. You are right and he has to pay for what he did. Give him at least 20 yrs without parole and counseling.

  6. NickNackPaddyWack says:

    I agree he needs to be tried as an adult. HE could easily have told someone in school. He could have looked else where for help. But instead he looked for a gun and killed his father. Its sad for his family members, but what family member ever wants someone tried for a crime? The family needs to take a step back and realize if he does get away with murder what else could he end up doing.

  7. anonymous says:

    Have any one of you ever been a victim of abuse? He isnt 100% right neither is he 100% wrong. He was being harmed. No its not right he killed but before judging and calling him horrible things in this case atleast. How about praying for him to find peace or something. Its not like he hacked at his father like those kids that beat their parent for stupid reasons. He felt threatened by a person he should trust. Just ask what you would do if you were in his shoes. You cant completely if youve never been there. What if he was told he couldnt tell or worse would happen to him. Has anyone on here ever been in a abusive situation?

    1. GM says:

      Yes I have an never considered murdering anyoone. If you feel threatened, go for help to a school counselor or relative.

  8. D-WILL says:

    It just really befuddles me that you see on these threads all of the negatives when a youth of color commits a crime….any crime…nonetheless murder. If this were a black or hispanic kid, he’d be an animal who deserves punishment in the worst way. All of the racism defending why a youth of color should be prosecuted to the highest, tried as an adult and thrown under the jail. When its a white youth….poor Johnny….he’s misunderstood…yeah until he kills again and again and becomes a Jeffrey Dahmer, or the kids at Columbine. You all have more sympathy for dogs set on fire (I know thats wrong as well) than you’d have for kids of color. I admire the support for the kid but detest the hypocracy.

    1. Eduardo says:

      D-Will, Black crimes are so prevelant that is just not newsworthy anymore. It’s the black DNA, violence, murder & mayhem & besides, your race is irrelevant anymore.

  9. short set says:

    Authorities found the body of Richardson’s father in a pond, a few miles from where he was killed, this sounds premeditated to me

  10. shari says:

    don’t go on the facebook “free robert richardson” site. they will just delete you if you don’t completely support this “child”! funny that yesterday incident in ohio with a teen the same age went to school and slaughter 3 students, injuring 2 more has yet to be referred in the news as a CHILD! he has been referred to as a student, a perpatrator and assilant ,but NEVER a child! same age- only in harford county people. i was appalled with these fundraisers and support for this murderer and was even e-mailed about my comment for the creator that there was a HUGE difference between killing someone and murder! lol- somebody still dead. my big question to him is- When you drug your father’s body to HIS car and threw him in (which is no same feat from all that i”ve heard), was his eyes opened in shock or were they closed? was his mouth closed or frozen open in the throes and screams of death? did you smell his blood as you were driving the 10 miles to dump him and was his body only partically submerged because he just was too bulky to drag all the way to the bottom? sorry bleeding heart liberals- my vote- 15 yrs with 10 yrs parole is the least i would vote for. Can’t delete me from this news site- “HA’

    1. Anonymous says:

      totally agree.

  11. Anonymous says:

    His brother (Steve Richardson) made this comment to the Jan 10,2012 Aberdeen Patch newspaper:(see comments under news article entitled Teen Charged as Adult in Father’s Murder)

    Here is the truth. After our mom died, dad got lonely, really really lonely. He latched on to Rob like he was the last thing in the world that mattered to him, and he was. Yes they got into arguments, yes those arguments could get verbally violent. There was no physical abuse. All those times he ran away, was because dad told him he couldn’t go hang out with a crowd of older people that were just troublemakers. He would sneak out to go be with them. Rob had a real hard time not being able to ‘hang out’ like a regular teenager. Him and his dad butted heads regularly, this is true, however it was never for a malicious reason. Dad was simply trying to raise an extremely hard headed teenager with pent up anger issues. All of you who are trying to blame one or the other for the incident have never actually been a part of our family, and your speculations are doing more damage to an already f**ked situation.
    The only thing rob ever complained to me about was how overprotective he was and how arguments would get to out of hand. Also, Rob was moving out of the house soon to go live with another relative. So those of you who are just posting on here to argue, please take it somewhere else. I miss the man I called dad, and I miss my brother. He handled the situation completely wrong, and now he has to own his consequences. Those of us that are personally involved in this don’t even understand how or why this happened, so quit speculating things trying to understand it.

    I lived in that house. There was no abuse at any time. END OF DISCUSSION

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