Bel Air teen indicted Feb. 14 on charges he murdered his father

Crime, Law and JusticeHomicideJustice SystemLaws and LegislationHarford County

A Bel Air teenager was indicted Tuesday on charges he murdered his father last month.

Robert C. Richardson, 16, was indicted by the Harford County Grand Jury on charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and use of a handgun in a crime of violence in the death of his father, Robert Richardson Jr., Harford County State's Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly announced late Tuesday afternoon.

The case was presented to the grand jury and the indictment handed up earlier in the day, according to a new release from Cassilly's office.

The indictment means that the case will proceed with Richardson being tried as an adult in Harford County Circuit Court, the news release added. Richardson will continue to be held without bond.

Cassilly, who has said he will personally prosecute the Richardson case, briefly referred to the motive for the killing in the news release, but did not disclose it.

"A lot of speculation about a motive has surrounded this case from the outset, which was thoroughly investigated by sheriff's detectives and the state's attorney's investigator and their findings were presented to the grand jury that made the decision to indict," Cassilly said.

The teenager, a freshman at C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air, was charged with shooting his father to death late on the evening of Jan. 9 at their home in the 800 block of Moores Mill Road in Bel Air. He was apprehended early the following morning after leading police on a brief chase before he crashed his vehicle into a wall near a Bel Air church.

The body of Robert Richardson Jr. was found partially submerged in a pond behind a relative's home in Aberdeen.

The younger Richardson, who was charged as an adult from the outset, admitted to police he shot and killed his father, according to original charging documents.

Since his arrest, Richardson has been held without bond at the Harford County Detention Center in Bel Air.

A group of supporters has been raising money for Richardson's defense and have hired a private lawyer for him.

One aim, a leader of the support effort said last week, is to get the Richardson case moved back to juvenile court, but Cassilly said that won't happen.

Under Maryland law, his news release said, a 16-year-old who is charged with first degree murder is tried as an adult and cannot be returned to juvenile court.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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