Reporting Mike Hellgren
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.