Investigator in Teghan Skiba murder trial describes shed where girl was allegedly tortured


Skiba died days after being admitted to the Johnston Medical Center in July 2010 by then-21-year-old Jonathan Richardson, who claimed she had fallen off the bed. However, doctors found the girl had cuts, bruises, a head wound, and bite marks on her body.

A nurse who treated the 4-year-old told the courtroom Tuesday that she was overcome with anger when looking at the extensive injuries the child had and confronted Richardson.

"It was horrible. We see a lot of stuff. At that point I couldn't take any more and I looked at him and said, "Oh my God,'" Mary Alison Butler said.

"He was just going to leave. So I took off after him. I chased him down ... and jumped on him. I grabbed him by the throat and swung him around. I was trying to rip his esophagus out."

Richardson is accused of beating and sexually assaulting his girlfriend's daughter over a 10-day period while her mother, Helen Roxanne Reyes, was out-of-state for Army Reserves training.

Authorities said the couple was living with Skiba in an air conditioned barn behind the home of Richardson's grandparents on the outskirts of Smithfield near Brogden. There was no running water, no bathroom, and just a single air mattress on the floor to sleep on.

On Wednesday, a crime scene investigator described to the jury every single piece of evidence that she uncovered in the shed, which was littered with trash.

"I observed the interior of the shed to be cluttered with that appeared to an odor of urine and/or feces," Former CSI Investigator Charlotte Fournier said. "There was an air mattress on the floor in the south east corner of the room with a few pillows on top of it. Located on the floor between the chair and treadmill, there was a laptop and a brown extension cord with exposed ends. "

Fournier also said she found underwear - size 14 - with suspected blood, and a piece of tissue inside with suspect blood on it.

Richardson has been charged with first-degree murder, and felony child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against him.

His trial is expected to last four-to-six weeks.

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