Local News

Jurors see more evidence in tortured 4-year-old girl's murder case

Posted March 4, 2014

Charlotte Fournier, a former crime scene investigator for the Johnston County Sheriff's Office, holds up a child's jacket for jurors in the capital murder trial of Jonathan Richardson on March 4, 2014. (Chad Flowers/WRAL)

— Johnston County prosecutors seeking the death penalty against a man accused of torturing and killing his girlfriends' 4-year-old daughter showed jurors more than 100 pieces of evidence Tuesday as they continued laying out their case.

Jonathan Douglas Richardson, 25, is charged with first-degree murder, felony child abuse, sexual offense with a child and kidnapping in the July 19, 2010, death of Teghan Skiba.

The state says Richardson locked the child in the shed behind his grandparents' Smithfield home and physically and sexually abused her while her mother was at Army Reserve training in New Mexico.

Teghan died three days after Richardson took her to a local emergency room, claiming she hit her head while jumping on a bed. An autopsy found the child died from blunt force head injuries and had bite marks, cuts and bruises all over her body.

Charlotte Fournier, a former crime scene investigator who testified for two days last week, returned to the witness stand Tuesday to show jurors more items she collected from the shed, which she described last week as "cluttered and dirty."

Among the items were several pieces of clothing, children's flip flops, building blocks and children's DVDs such as "Pocahontas," "Lady and the Tramp" and "Undercover Dora."

Although prosecutors say Richardson tormented, terrorized and tortured the young girl, defense attorneys trying to keep Richardson from facing the death penalty contend otherwise.

They say he never sexually abused Teghan and didn't mean to kill her. He lacked experience and parenting skills and blame her death on his undiagnosed mental problems, his own experiences of being abused as a child and approval from Teghan's mother that physically abusing the child was OK.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • monami Mar 5, 2014

    Truly, I don't understand the question being asked of the jurors. It's a foregone conclusion. Horror, all of it. Inhuman.

  • Susan Olvera Mar 5, 2014
    user avatar

    Throughout my life I've flip flopped on the death penalty. I think it should be reserved for the most heinous of crimes, used sparingly, abut quickly. This fits that category. What this man did was filthy. I imagine he will be sentenced to the death penalty and I hope it's carried out very quickly. And, I think the mother should go with him. I feel badly for the defense attorney, I would literally want to vomit before every trial date,

  • Janene DiPierro Mar 5, 2014
    user avatar

    I don't care what the defense wants to try and say.... how they can live with theirselves is beyond me! No one with or without any kind of brain would do such horrific acts to a child and claim they didn't know better! The prosecutors should also be ashamed... she was NOT a young girl..... SHE WAS A BABY!!! A 4 YEAR OLD BABY! I pray for swift justice and I pray she rest in peace... and I pray HE doesn't!!!

  • sunshine1040 Mar 5, 2014

    He lacked parenting skills and the ability to say no to having the girl live with him. Sorry but he is one sorry excuse for a person and along with the parents that left the child there should never be allowed near children again.

  • cjd112121 Mar 5, 2014

    As i father i could not imagine this happening to either one of my daughters. I honestly do not know how i would react to this act of inhumanity. Death Penalty for sure. He is actually lucky to get a trial IMHO. Im not sure i would be able to let the justice system run its course.

  • Arthur Raleigh Mar 5, 2014
    user avatar

    Did his parents notice any of this going on in the back yard? Seems like they should be charges with accessory after the fact?

  • Kathy McDaniel Mar 5, 2014
    user avatar

    Such a sad case. Bless the little angel. May she rest in peace.

  • Jane Tuohey Mar 5, 2014
    user avatar

    I understand that defense lawyers are there to represent their client and to defend them but.... defending someone is different from lying for them or twisting the truth, when their is so much proof that someone is guilty, how can they lie and twist things, to me that is wrong, our justice system should be seriously reviewed. Don't lie for your clients, this is happening way too much and you know that they know they are lying.... Hold them accountable, call them out on it, maybe they need to be on trial for lying...Sorry to vent but this is really annoying me and is totally wrong...

  • cpdtg Mar 5, 2014

    He said she hit her head while jumping on the bed WHAT BED she was sleepin on a air mattress on the floor

  • lendawg001 Mar 5, 2014

    i hope he gets the Death Penalty