Local News

More details of Teghan Skiba's injuries revealed

Posted March 12, 2014

— Four-year-old Teghan Skiba's blood was found on a wooden rod collected from the shed where Johnston County prosecutors say she was beaten, bitten and sexually abused by her mother's boyfriend more than three years ago.

Jennifer Elwell, a DNA analyst for the North Carolina State Crime Laboratory, testified Wednesday in the capital murder trial of Jonathan Douglas Richardson that she found the girl's DNA on three spots of blood on the long, thin piece of lumber.

But she added that she couldn't determine how the blood got on the wood or when.

Richardson, 25, faces first-degree murder, felony child abuse, kidnapping and sexual offense in Teghan's July 19, 2010, death.

If convicted, he could also face the death penalty.

The state contends that Richardson tortured Teghan for 10 days while her mother, Helen Reyes, was out of town.

He took her to a local hospital June 16, 2010, witnesses have said, claiming she hit her head while jumping on a bed.

Dr. Jonathan Privette, assistant chief medical examiner for the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Greenville, said he observed injuries to Teghan's neck that were consistent with markings of a power cord – which the state contends Richardson used to abuse the child.

Despite the 66 bite marks and cuts and bruises too numerous to count, Privette testified, Teghan died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Jurors were visibly upset as they viewed autopsy photos of the child's body, and Teghan's paternal grandfather walked out of the courtroom during Privette's testimony. Her grandmother cried.

Defense attorneys say Richardson – damaged by years of abuse, uncontrolled anger and untreated mental problems – never sexually abused Teghan and that her death was an "unbelievable tragedy" that Richardson never meant to happen.

He loved Reyes and Tegan and wanted the three of them to be the perfect family, Richardson's attorneys say, but he had no idea how to care for a little girl.

Reyes, who had dated Richardson for about six months, could testify this week in the case.

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  • Karen Orndorff Mar 13, 2014
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    The grandmother has arleady been on the stand.

  • Janene DiPierro Mar 13, 2014
    user avatar

    "He loved Reyes and Tegan and wanted the three of them to be the perfect family, Richardson's attorneys say, but he had no idea how to care for a little girl." - Lame excuss... he lived on the property with his grandparents and if they weren't so afraid of the monster he was.. they could have helped!

  • comments1911 Mar 13, 2014

    "They could have called the police or CPS to help." The police could have helped. CPS, doubtful. CPS is the most worthless agency I have ever dealt with. Just look at all of the cases in which children DIE while supposedly under the care of CPS.

  • miseem Mar 13, 2014

    her death was an "unbelievable tragedy" that Richardson never meant to happen.

    he had no idea how to care for a little girl

    I can't believe the attorney can make these statements with a straight face. It would be different if the child died of an infection for illness he may not have been aware of. To indicate he did not know that inflicting 66 serious bites, wrapping a cord around her neck, and beating her in the head hard enough to kill her was simply due to not knowing how to care for a child strains any credibility.

  • Chase Truman Mar 13, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    I know these things are hard to hear, but it is part of the case and many people are interested in how it's going... it's WRAL's job to keep the public informed about the case.

    For me personally, the first time I heard about this case I thought this guy should be in the mental ward of the prison for the rest of his life. But now, the more I read about what he did and think about what this little girl went through, I think he should just be given the death penalty so he's no longer on this Earth. I certainly don't want my taxes to be put towards keeping this guy alive.

  • Karen Orndorff Mar 13, 2014
    user avatar

    The grandparents were obviosly scared of him. That is why he was not living in the house. I would have never allowed him to live in my back yard either.

  • luxurytravel Mar 13, 2014

    Can't wait to hear what mommy dearest has to say. What about the grandparents testimony, or did I miss that?

  • Lightfoot3 Mar 13, 2014

    "His grandparents should be serving time for aiding the crime" - dl123


    They didn't know of the abuse and thought the mother was still there.


    "They chose to IGNORE the screams that they obviously heard" - dl123


    There's no evidence they heard screams.


    "Where were the Aunts - who cried on the stand? WHY DIDNT THEY CHECK ON HER?" - dl123


    The child was with her guardian, the mother. Plus I'm not sure they knew where they were, or if the mother was gone on training. And it seems this mother was estranged from her family a bit.


    The guilty ones are standing trial, the dude, and the mother.

    "Sure would love to be a juror on this case..." - Weetie

    As trials go, this is an EASY one. No doubt what so ever of his guilt.

  • Combat Medic Mar 13, 2014

    These defense lawyers who are lying to protect this monster are the human scum of the earth. I think charges should be brought against lawyers who lie like this

  • dl123 Mar 13, 2014

    So many people failed this child. Let’s start with the mother who made the decision to leave her daughter with her boyfriend of 6 months in a shed for 2 weeks without ANYONE checking on the child. WHO DOES THIS?!?!? His grandparents should be serving time for aiding the crime. They could have called the police or CPS to help. They chose to IGNORE the screams that they obviously heard. Where were the Aunts - who cried on the stand? WHY DIDNT THEY CHECK ON HER? I have a 3 yr. old son. There is no way that I would ever leave him with an acquaintance or someone I just met or to live in a shed! The mother may have been arguing with her family – but leaving her child with a new boyfriend is inexcusable. It is sick, twisted, negligence.

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