Jonathan Richardson tells his mother of Teghan Skiba 'I loved her to death'


Richardson was found guilty earlier this week of first-degree murder, felony child abuse, kidnapping, and sexual offense with a child in the 2010 death of his then-girlfriend's daughter. He now faces a possible death sentence.

An already graphic and horrifying trial got even worse Friday as his defense attorneys played a video of Richardson crying as he told his mother about Skiba's death - saying "I loved her to death."

In the 2010 video, Richardson told his mom that he loved Skiba and she calls him daddy. He said it wasn't looking good for Skiba, and that she wasn't really breathing, and wanted to know if that was bad. He then told her he "didn't do it." Richardson also told his mother he wanted to go to church.

The five now going onto six-week trial has been disturbing, and now with sentencing, family of the little girl gave their impact statements Friday.

"There is so much sadness, anger, disbelief, heartache everyday of our lives. We try to remember the happy times we share with Teghan but are so sadden that there will be no more," said Sarah Skiba, the victim's grandmother.

"I'm just ready for all of this to be over...I hate that this wound in my heart had to be reopened," said Maira Reyes, the victim's aunt.

During his closing arguments Monday, an emotional Johnston County Assistant District Attorney Paul Jackson told jurors Skiba was tortured, sexually assaulted, and beaten by Richardson over a 10-day period while her mother, Helen Roxanne Reyes, was out-of-state for Army Reserves training.

In July 2010, the then-21-year-old Richardson took Skiba to Johnston Medical - claiming the girl had fallen off the bed. However, doctors found she had cuts, bruises, a head wound, and bite marks on her body. Skiba died days later from her injuries after she was transferred to UNC.

Richardson's defense attorney Jonathan Broun said during his closing argument that Richardson never intended to kill the girl. Instead, the attorney said Richardson shook the child so hard that it caused brain injuries, and then waited too long to get her medical help.

Broun also said that despite the injuries to Skiba's genitals, there was never any sexual intent on Richardson's part.

"That is not intended to lessen what happened, but there was no sexual intent," said Broun.

Broun also asked jurors to consider Richardson's background and mental state. The defense claims he was abused as a child by his father and had undiagnosed mental problems.

On Wednesday, a forensic pediatrician discussed in depth the torture and murder of the little girl.

"In my opinion Teghan Skiba was a victim of child torture," Dr. Sharon Cooper said. "She had more than 144 injuries...that is an extraordinarily high number of injuries...that's a particularly harsh action and causes especially a cruel pain and suffering much more pain and suffering perhaps than the first time the person was injured at that site. So the presence of a new injury over an old injury will cause this child to have that much more pain and that would be another type of action that would strongly support sadistic gratification."

Cooper went into great detail but what she described was so disturbing that Skiba's grandparents walked out.

When the jury finally gets their case to decide this time around, it will only be life or death for Richardson since they already convicted him for killing Skiba.

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