Local News

Video of Teghan Skiba days before death leaves jurors shaken

Posted March 18, 2014

Jonathan Douglas Richardson listens to testimony in his first-degree murder trial on March 18, 2014.

— After 17 days of testimony, Johnston County prosecutors rested their case Tuesday afternoon in the capital murder trial of a Smithfield man accused of torturing, sexually abusing and killing his girlfriend's 4-year-old daughter nearly four years ago.

Daylong, graphic testimony from a pediatrician who specializes in child physical and sexual abuse ended with the state showing jurors a video of Teghan Skiba – dressed in a pink shirt and dark pants with her arms outstretched – facing a wall and repeating a half-dozen times, "When I have to pee, I promise I will tell someone."

Jurors then heard the sound of a man on the video that prosecutors say is Jonathan Douglas Richardson yelling for the child to speak up.

Apparently stressed, she speaks up and repeats the phrase four more times.

The 37-second video, taken at 2:31 a.m. on July 10, 2010, left several jurors visibly shaken and at least one in tears. Some court personnel were crying as well.

The state contends it was the last image of Teghan conscious and alive.

Six days later, prosecutors say, Richardson, 25, took the child – near death – to a local emergency room, claiming she fell off a bed and hit her head. She had more than 60 bite marks, as well as cuts and bruises covering her body.

Richardson faces charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, felony child abuse and sexual offense with a child and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Defense attorneys, who could begin presenting their case Wednesday, say their client never meant to kill Teghan and that her death was a "horrific" event resulting from "uncontrollable anger."

Richardson, they say, had no idea how to deal with his anger and undiagnosed mental problems. Nor did he have any parenting skills or experience around children and only could draw on his own experiences of being abused as a child.

They maintain, however, that he never sexually abused the child.

Dr. Kenya McNeal-Trice, a pediatrician at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, where Teghan died July 19, 2010, however, testified that there were injuries to the child's body that were consistent with sexual abuse.


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  • m7duarte Mar 20, 2014

    She was 4 years old and she had to endure all the depravity of this monster alone. Absolutely disgusting and revolting. Poor little girl that had to deal with this evil monster. She had no chance. She was alone, no one consoled her, no one saved her from this child molester, sadist and murderer.

  • Naysayer Mar 19, 2014

    I can't imagine the pain and trauma that the jurors are feeling having to sit through all of this horror. Hopefully bringing this monster to justice brings them some solace. I pray this little girl is at peace now.

  • Deb Rodgers Mar 19, 2014
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    View quoted thread

    Or, if the video excites one person? I believe it's right to withhold the video from the public, there are enough sick people out there that will enjoy it...don't feed into their sickness.

  • Deb Rodgers Mar 19, 2014
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    My heart breaks for Teghan, the torture she endured.... I'm not sure I could've been on the jury. May she be in peace now.

  • Randi Thistle Mar 19, 2014
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    SHOW the video! not because I'm twisted and "enjoy" seeing the girl but because she already went thru it alone. her story DESERVES to be told. it NEEDS to sicken everyone and shouldn't be hidden. if it horrifies one person enough to maybe pay attention to what neighbors are up to then it's saved at least one.

  • Anne Walker Mar 19, 2014
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    CMATTHEWS4507, no one here is suggesting that there should be sympathy either for the members of the jury OR for Teghan. There is more than enough sorrow to go around.

    Jurors are indeed tasked with making sure justice is done, but not even experienced health care practitioners and law enforcement officials are able to deal with this case in an emotionless manner. Nor should they be.

    Our common humanity requires us to be horrified, and some of that includes sorrow for all those concerned, regardless of their proximity to the case.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Mar 19, 2014

    View quoted thread


    We can only hope, but remember, even after the horrors committed by Jeffrey Dahmer, he didn't get a death penalty until inmates got ahold of him years later.

  • PracticalMagick Mar 19, 2014

    This case has had me in tears more often than not. It's heartbreaking to me, and I don't know how those jurors are going to go on, not having the details of this case nagging them in the future.

  • Julie Teeter Mar 19, 2014
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    Does he really think he has a chance, in this World, that he will get nothing less than Death?! Seriously.....

  • Sherri Schultheiss Mar 19, 2014
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    There has to be a special level of Hell for people who abuse children and animals. I can only pray that the jury will not believe the rhetoric spouted by the defense and sentence this monster appropriately. This "person" is a fraudulent waste of oxygen.