Vigil honors slain 4-year-old, advocates abuse reporting
Posted April 30
Smithfield, N.C. — Many, like Aimee James, got to know four-year-old Teghan Skiba not by meeting her, but by how she died.
“I really felt for this little girl,” she said. “It brought me to tears at home.”
James was among about 20 people who attended a vigil for Teghan in front of the Johnston County Courthouse Wednesday evening as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Teghan was tortured, sexually assaulted and killed by her mother’s boyfriend, Jonathan Richardson. He was convicted of her murder and sentenced to death.
Some at the vigil were personally connected to Richardson's trial.
Charlotte Fournier is a former crime scene investigator for the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office who covered the trial.
The things Fournier saw during the trial have stayed with her, she said.
“It affects everybody on down the line,” she said. “We see the hurt, we see the pain.”
George Broadnax was a juror during Richardson’s trial.
"I don't think anyone was prepared to see those pictures of what he had done to Teghan," he said.
Those at the vigil held candles and stood together in silence on the courthouse steps.
They called for others to report abuse the moment they suspect it.
“It is too late, unfortunately, for Teghan,” said Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle. “But do not wait until it’s too late for another victim.”