Reporting Mike Hellgren
BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ) — A teen charged with killing his father. Should he be tried as an adult?
Robert Richardson III was in court Friday where his new defense team made a startling accusation.
Mike Hellgren breaks down exactly what happened.
They are concerned about several of the juvenile witnesses, saying there’s been infighting between them. The public defender now says a detective made a threat.
Justice has been slow for Robert Richardson III–the teenager who’s charged as an adult with his father’s murder at their home in Bel Air. He’s been held at the Harford County Detention Center for more than a year without bail.
His supporters rallied outside circuit court, while his lawyers inside revealed for the first time two other juveniles may have had a role in his father’s killing. They told the judge a lead detective threatened one of them, after the teen brought a copy of a search warrant to school.
The defense declined to elaborate on the threat. Prosecutors said this is the first they’ve heard of it.
“The two public defenders who are managing his defense right now are doing a tremendous job and he has a lot of confidence in them, so I just pray that justice will happen for him,” said Eileen Siple, defendant’s friend.
The crime scene is less than a mile from the courthouse where Richardson appeared looking thin and pale, and his friends say, scared.
Some friends and family say the motive for the killing was abuse, while others say the teenager was never hit. Documents obtained by WJZ show police went to the home a dozen times in the year before the killing, although never for domestic violence or neglect.
“I’m not saying he should not be punished at all. I think that he did something wrong and he committed a crime so the necessary actions should have to take place. But I think that he’s also a kid and he needs therapy. Horrible things happened to him,” said Siple.
Prosecutors told the defense that none of the juveniles has been offered immunity in exchange for testimony in the case.
The trial, which has been postponed several times, is scheduled to begin in May.