Local News

Jailhouse reports: Richardson 'incited' inmates, threatened detention officer

Posted April 1

— Jail documents detail numerous behavioral problems of Jonathan Douglas Richardson while he awaited trial for the murder of 4-year-old Teghan Skiba, including accusations that he incited inmates and threatened to stab a detention officer, according to a forensic psychologist's testimony Tuesday in the sentencing phase of his trial.

Richardson could face the death penalty after a jury, last week, found him guilty of not only murdering the girl but physically and sexually abusing her during a 10-day period prior to her July 19, 2010, death.

Defense attorneys have portrayed the 25-year-old as a mentally damaged man who was a product of child abuse and whose experiences of being improperly disciplined caused him to believe that the physical abuse he inflicted upon Teghan – whom he loved – was OK.

Her death, the defense has said, was the result of uncontrolled anger and was not intentional.

Defense witness Matthew Mendel, the psychologist who met with Richardson several times after his arrest, said during cross-examination Tuesday that Richardson told him that Teghan – his ex-girlfriend's daughter – called him "daddy" and that he even went as far as having her name and birthdate tattooed on his arm when he was in jail.

"It was a life-changing event for me. I lost my daughter," Mendel quoted Richardson from a conversation they had about the girl's death.

The state, however, has argued that Richardson knew exactly what he was doing when he tortured and terrorized the girl to fulfill his "sadistic desires."

In cross-examining Mendel, Johnston County prosecutors also had him read from the jailhouse reports that detailed some of Richardson's misconduct.

Despite mood-stabilizing medication and several lockdowns, one lieutenant wrote: "We do not know what to do with him. We keep locking him down, but it does no good."

Superior Court Judge Thomas Lock, however, would not allow the jury to hear about other behavior, deeming it highly prejudicial.

Outside the jury's presence, Mendel read that Richardson "incited other inmates to do his dirty work" and threw feces and urine.

Sandy Penny, the longtime live-in girlfriend of Richardson's father, took the stand Tuesday to refute the defense’s claims that Richardson’ suffered abuse from a rage-filled, single father. She testified that she never saw any signs of improper discipline from Doug Richardson.

"Jonathan had a good home. He had the best of both worlds. He had his mom every other weekend," Penny said. "He had his dad every day, and the other weekends, they went fishing all the time – all the time."

"Was Doug a good father?" Assistant District Attorney Greg Butler asked.

"Yes," Penny said, tearfully.

The state is expected to call at least one more rebuttal witness before closing arguments, which could begin as early as Wednesday afternoon.

21 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • 678devilish Apr 3, 1:15 p.m.

    maureenmercer1 Apr 2, 11:06 a.m.

    I could go for him shanking himself and saving tax dollars.
    Maureen your tax dollars if you are working is working still to support many many of them; men and women in prison. Learn where your taxes go before you chat about things you know nothing about.

  • 678devilish Apr 3, 1:12 p.m.

    he will not be threating anyone when he gets to prison. He will be afraid of them. He will not be so bad. Also he will face dire consequences right then and there. He is going to learn a hard lesson behind bars. Too bad he did not listen to his parents or whatever adults was around him.

  • so you dont like my opinion ok Apr 2, 11:10 a.m.

    Maureen, he is too chicken to do that to himself probably..

  • maureenmercer1 Apr 2, 11:06 a.m.

    I could go for him shanking himself and saving tax dollars.

  • so you dont like my opinion ok Apr 2, 11:05 a.m.

    @ ZIVA... If he is serving life with no parole, he will be in the general population. This is where justice will INDEED be served.........

    Seems to me that he is having a party in jail, throwing feces and urine and getting people to do his dirty work, he is a menace to society and a menace in jail, one lieutenant wrote "we don't know what to do with him, we keep locking him down, but it does no good". He is an evil pest all round. They put a pair of glasses on him and he sits there all quiet, says he was abused by his father who Sandy Penny (long time girlfriend)says has never seen any signs of improper discipline. Busted... He is sick with evilness.

  • ziva Apr 2, 10:29 a.m.

    And now they find a shank in his cell........he needs to be done away with, and SOON. He may be sick, but he is also pure EVIL.....

    Although I feel if anyone deserves the death penalty, it is him, I will be please with life without any possibility of parole. The reason being that if he is on death row, he will not be in the general population, If he is serving life with no parole, he will be in the general population. This is where justice will INDEED be served.........

  • SFSOLDIER Apr 2, 10:20 a.m.

    Give him what he richly deserves...the needle!

  • valmantini Apr 2, 10:10 a.m.

    I pray to God they give him the "Death Penalty" and he is moved to the top of the list....next.

  • axsbrad Apr 2, 10:09 a.m.

    He just lost his 'get out of jail free' card.

  • hallc Apr 2, 10:08 a.m.

    How do you get a tattoo in jail?? I guess you can do just about anything and we the citizens who work continue to pay for garbage such as this!! Enough already send him away to get his "just" punishment.

More...