Supporters of Bel Air Teen Who Pleaded Guilty to Shooting Death of Father Plan New Legal Challenge

Community supporters of the Bel Air teen who pleaded guilty in January to fatally shooting his father two years earlier are planning a new legal challenge aimed at overturning the plea deal and exonerating the youth.

Robert C. Richardson III pleaded guilty to manslaughter and a firearms charge in Harford County Circuit Court on Jan. 15, and was sentenced to 18 years in prison. At the time, attorneys on both sides and the teen’s community supporters greeted the arrangement as one of the better possible outcomes a case they called a “tragedy” brought on by years of mental and physical abuse.

One of the keys to their acceptance was Richardson’s sentencing to the Patuxent Institution’s Youth Program in Jessup, a “treatment –oriented” facility with the “goal of assisting the youthful offenders in their transition to viable adult development.”

However, in the months since his sentencing Richardson has been housed at the medium-security Maryland Correctional Training Center in Hagerstown, according to the State Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

While the court recommended Richardson be incarcerated at the Patuxent Institution as part of the plea deal, according to department spokesman Mark Vernarelli that recommendation does not automatically guarantee acceptance. Each inmate’s case is reviewed before they are accepted into the Patuxent program, and Richardson’s case is still being evaluated, he said.

“Mr. Richardson is on Patuxent’s list for consideration,” Vernarelli wrote in an e-mail to The Dagger. “He has had a mental health assessment and is within the normal timeframe to be considered for the Patuxent Youth Program.”

However, Richardson’s presence at the Hagerstown facility led Eileen Siple, one of the central members of the community group which supported Richardson since his initial incarceration in January 2012, to pursue a new legal option.

As his case proceeded, Siple’s group initially sought Richardson’s removal from the adult population of the Harford County Detention Center to a youth facility. That move was barred by state law which does not allow youths charged as adults with first-degree murder to be housed among others their own age. As Richardson’s case dragged on for more than two years, Siple said she and others also provided him with a link to the outside world and a diversion from his segregated incarceration.

Now, Siple said she has begun collecting funds for a larger ambition: hiring a lawyer specializing in post-conviction proceedings who believes he can overturn Richardson’s plea deal and fully exonerate him based on his history of “child abuse syndrome,” according to the “Free Robert (Bob) Richardson III” Facebook page.

“He’s telling me he believes he has a good case for exoneration,” said Siple, who declined to disclose the attorney’s name until he is officially retained but said he is “well-known” in legal circles.

The cost of that attorney is steep–$25,000. Siple said Richardson himself initially balked at the cost and did not want to pursue the course of action, but was eventually swayed.

“His reaction was not what I expected, to be honest,” a June 2 status update on the Facebook page read. “Bob has accepted that he will spend many years in prison, and he thinks it is a waste of our money to hire another attorney. He will work with the attorney, and by the end of the visit he was admitting to a little bit of optimism, but he still thinks it is too much money. He also thinks there is no way that we could raise that money – I’d like to prove him wrong. Bob does not seem to understand that his life is worth so much more than $25,000, and that we are all in this with him, whatever it takes.

Siple has established a PayPal account to collect donations as well as another fundraiser page. As of Sunday night, more than $2,500 had been raised toward the goal, with a quarter auction also in the works.

Siple said the funds to retain the attorney are needed by the end of the month.

“Quite honestly, I will have it, one way or another,” she said. “Everyday he spends at Hagerstown is a day he should be getting treatment. We can’t wait any longer. He can’t wait any longer.”


  1. Butt Pirate says

    For everyone that keeps saying this young man that brutally murdered his father was abused, did you ever try to report the abuse to authorities?

    • joan says

      If you have followed this story you would know that this abuse was reported many times in many different ways.

    • Gina Marie says

      Really, you go by Butt Pirate, do you expect anyone to give your comments any credence?

      • Butt Pirate says

        I don’t need any Credence for my comments and I certainly don’t need your ok. You people are absolutely nuts for supporting this savage killer

  2. Miss Gulch says

    It’s not as simple as that…local departments of service receive many protective service reports that they must investigate. The level of abuse has to rise to the threshold that either requires the state to remove the child from the home, in severe cases, or provide family preservation services, in situations where the child is not at imminent risk and can be safely served in the home. It is my understanding that DSS was contacted. I think this child was failed by the system and the community who heard the yelling, screaming and occasional gunshots, who saw Bob come to school with bruises on his body, who saw the condition of his clothes and over time, saw how his personality and demeanor changed. It is difficult to put yourself in his place and imagine what you would have done if you were in his shoes because, quite frankly, you can’t. I am certainly not endorsing what he did. It is a terrible tragedy that this child resorted to murdering his own father. I think at this point, we as a society can either incarcerate this child (with hardened adult offenders) and create an angry, untreated convict who will be free one day, or we can provide him the age-appropriate treatment he needs, including education and training so that when he does become free, he can be productive member of society.

  3. BillH says

    Is there a possibility that he didn’t murder his father put the body in the car and dump it in a pond?

  4. Vietnam vet says

    Some of the failure, is to be put on social services. who send out 18 year old social worker’s who came from well structured home’s that have no idea what there doing.

    • well... says

      So, do you think anyone at DSS was fired for their gross incompetence or (more likely) promoted? If they’re union workers we already know the answer…

  5. TFJ459 says

    He who is without sin, cast the first stone. If you havent wore the shoe, then don’t be so quick to judge. It’s you people that had a good family life that speak so terrible of others that wasnt so furtunate. Had his father shot him finally after all the abuse, bet you would be on Bob’s side, right? Well, I’m glad there is one less child alcoholic abuser on this earth!! Some people might be strong enough to take the abuse, but after losing his mother to cancer at the age of 12, I guess that was enough to drive a young mind over board. Much less DSS letting him down. Anyone can be sent to your home,look around to see an exceptable clean enviroment. The child best put on an act to save his ass from being hit afterwards. They turned their heads!! Shame on them!! Instead of looking at it as murder, look at it as exterminating a filthy roach!! I love how I read comments when a child has been abused and everyone says.. I would have killed that bastard, or let me get my hands on that child abuser. Well, this child didnt have that! He had to take it into his own hands!! No one was there for him!! Guess what, he hit 16 and now you all think of him as a bad teenage who didnt get his way. Wrong!! He was an innocent child of 12 left to deal with the loss of his mother, then the father not wanting anything to do with his own child, decided to beat on him daily, mentally abuse him, physically abuse him, stop buying clothes for him and stopped feeding him!! Cast your first stone!! Hope things go right for you when it gets down and dirty in your life!! Oh and yes Mrs. Siple is taking him in her home! If it hadnt been for her, this child would be in deeper trouble. Thank you Mrs. Siple! Also, instead of coming back at me with unkind words, sit back, breath, place yourself or child in that situation, then tell me off! I support Robert Richardson lll and his freedom!!

    • Ralph says

      The real shame belongs to those who were aware of all the abuse prior to the murder incident and did little or nothing to help Robert.

    • BoneCrusher says


      Figured you could not stay away from this. However, you mentioned that “no one was there for him”?

      Weren’t the Siple’s there for him? They claim to be all the time, yet they continually allowed him to go back into that situation.

      I agree that abuse is intolerable.

  6. White Van says

    I just looked at your Facebook page and it confirms you people are nuts. Now you want to save Robert and all the kids in Harford County who were charged as adults. Now you are defending “Tommy” because he is a juvenile charged as an adult. If you commit an adult crime you get charged as such. What if one of these upstanding youth raped your daughter or shot and killed your 3 year old son who was an innocent bystander?

  7. Marc A Eaton says

    So it is still not his fault for pulling the trigger, putting the body in a trunk and dumping it in a pond? The fault is with the system that failed him? It seems he put a lot of thought into his crime that he pleaded guilty to, so he had the ability to think things out. This is not a person without any sills to deal with a problem. Was he failed maybe, but even he knew killing someone was wrong. So why did he decide killing his father was a better plan then maybe leaving that night without killing him? He accepted responsibility for the crime now let him do the time for this. We have a President who takes no responsibility for his actions to. No one wants to accept responsibility these days when the do something wrong. There seems to be plenty of people around to make excuses and we can now see what this has done to our country and court system. He will never do 18 years so let the system work for him now.

  8. Linda says

    There isn’t a teacher at his school or a mother in the town he lived in that wouldn’t have helped if they knew of abuse. The police were called on the father when neighbors “heard” the father yelling. I never heard either ever say they witnessed his father hitting anyone. I agree it’s very sad if he was. I believe Mrs Siples daughter was the one that wrote she had witnessed bruises so I hope when you blame my community for doing nothing ,it’s her and the people that actually witnessed and were told, not the whole community. My suggestion is let the 16 year old take responsibility for his own actions. Crazy I know but that’s what we teach our children.
    If you are being beaten, you can defend yourself from immediate danger. You can’t however get high and drunk, walk into your dad’s bedroom and shoot your sleeping father in the head. There was also a door and he could of walked right out of it. I cannot believe after hearing the facts of the night, and how he planned it , got a gun, shot him in the head and then called 2 more guys that have no business on the streets with my family to help him load the body to then go dump it in a pond you can say he had no other choice. Now you are helping other dangerous offenders that have been charged as adults. There is a reason. It’s usually very serious and should not be rewarded. Use your money to help the poor, abused, mentally ill. There are so many people that are less fortunate that aren’t murderers. I was mentally and physically a used by an alcoholic father. As bad as it was I can’t imagine taking a gun and blowing someone’s head off unless I was defending in the moment. Period

  9. Hedley Lamarr says

    Wasn’t the Unabomber abused by a professor at Harford when he was 16? Where were all the Sibles than, Old Ted could have been saved.

  10. HYDESMANN says

    I wouldn’t trust that kid for 1 second in my house. Once you understand that you can get what you want through force It’s easy to resort to it again. He should stay in jail for a long time and not be set loose on society.

  11. Polkadottie says

    I am not a legal expert by any even remote stretch of the imagination but with what limited knowledge I have of how the law works, I can’t see ANY way at all that Mr. Richardson can be exonerated unless some evidence arises to support the theory that HE DIDN’T DO IT.

    If his legal counsel was incompetent and he can prove it, he can have the plea-deal thrown out but that wouldn’t result in HIS CHARGES BEING DROPPED. It would only mean he’d be given the opportunity to either A) renegotiate or B) go to trial.

    So, I don’t get it but maybe someone who knows more than I do about how the law works does.

  12. Shabang says

    A little birdie tells me that if an appeal is granted some additional info will come to light that will hurt poor little Robert even more. You see by making a plea not all info was given to the public. This next time around May stun this little MFCK group(mothers for coldblooded Killers). You see poor little Robert isn’t the little angel you think he is.

  13. Hazzard Native says

    Every murderer has a back story, remember that.
    By Maryland law, he was charged accordingly and by my opinion, he got a damned good deal.
    The father was shot while they were NOT in any sort of altercation.
    Good luck in your cause, and if you found some “expert” lawyer that is willing to see this thing all the way through a new a trial, including postponements, the hiring of expert witnesses, etc. for a $25,000 flat rate, either he’s not so hot, or you are going to wind up with a bigger bill before all is said and done.

  14. James cook says

    Throw out his plea bargain and let him be tried as an adult, they will bury him under the jail and he will never see the light of day again. This crazy bitch is willing to spend other peoples money ( not hers) on this pathetic little murdering puke and a lawyer, go figure is willing to take that cash.

    Ms sipple mortgage your house for poor little bobby he clearly only murdered his father because he deserved it.

  15. Mary LaMarche says

    Soldier on Eileen!! You have so much support and many people on your side willing to do what they have to.

  16. BoneCrusher says

    Yeah, at last count there were what….30 people with picket signs during the pre-trial phase?

    In fact, you have so much support, that you actually broke the $2,000 barrier in your search for $25,000. Got your voicemail, thanks, brother!

    Everyone doing well, just sleeping and eating…and eating. Just kinda busy with the other kids still in school, and trying to get the twins on a schedule (yeah, right)!

    Hope you and your family are well! to me that your support is limited to those with a few extra quarters in their pocket.

    No, I believe that the majority favor keeping a self-admitted murderer behind bars, where he belongs. If he us getting geek, then great…good for him. However, how many times have we heard about some guilty douche getting released because of some stupid technicality, moving in with some well-to-do family, and then magically becoming healed, becoming a model student and productive member of society.

    …thought so. Now, how many times does it turn bad for the “loving” family that took him in? Yep, can’t wait till watch this on Lifetime Network!

    Then let’s see you argue about “mind of a child”.

  17. BCPD says

    Just a question, but who had”
    control of that account for the fundraiser?

    Who gets the funds if they don’t reach their target? Free money for a family?

  18. Harco says

    What gets me is they keep sayng he was held in an adult facility while awaiting trial with them already treating him like he was guilty or assuming he was guilty. Like they had no proof. Like there was no just cause for holding him in there. When he was picked up he admitted he did it and almost bragged about it to the officers. He admitted to shooting someone in their head while sleeping. Where were they supposed to hold him?
    I also like how they describe his treatment after he admitted guilt as horrible. He was using the phone freely several times per day. He was spending 100s of dollars that people were sending him, reading books, magazines, receiving visitors, eating 3 meals a day. He was also housed with other juveniles. One of which he beat up and had to be moved. He wasn’t in a hole in a dark basement , naked. They really try and make the officers look bad. If you ask me he was treated well and lucky he was in this country and not somewhere else.
    Unless he didn’t do it or his defense team did something illegal you can’t change the outcome. They are going to take the money , go through the motions and shrug their shoulders and say “sorry”.
    He got a very light sentence considering the crime. He will be out in a couple of years. I personally hope you do get the money. I would love for the details to come and watch your faces in court. Did you ever think maybe that’s why he took the plea and tried to talk you all out of going forward with this?

  19. word on the street says

    Marc, what the hell does Obama have to do with this little dope head?

    • Marc A Eaton says

      No one accepts responsibility for their actions. Our own President continues to blame the former President for his mistakes and will not accept that he is responsible for his own actions. This is the culture we now live in. If you screw up just blame it on some one else for dropping the ball.

  20. stupid gun laws never work says

    let this POS rot in jail
    alot of kids in harford are comitting crimes and should be charged as adults, yet dont get Charged as they should
    also the most kids belong in jail and are not after breaking the law several times over and over
    harford will be just like baltimore in less then five years due to this type of mindest to ( SAVE THE KIDS FROM THEMSELVES )
    you just cant fix stupid the DA in most of the cases want to make deals to make there job easy
    it is truly sad

  21. 10-96 that you are says

    Maybe Mrs Siple should put her energy into saving the dying HCPS system. That would be better then trying to save a ruthless coldblooded premeditated killer.

  22. Jim Davis says

    I checked this page out for Richardson. The administrator just made a comment about people posting negative on the dagger. Then went on to make a comment ” haters gonna hate”. Another guy named Ryan said that some of the comments ” made me wanna punch several people in the face”. If this is how this group acts and what they stand for they need to grow up

    • James cook says

      Haters gonna hate murders gonna murder. This obviously ain’t the brightest bunch of people.

  23. stupid gun laws never work says

    anyone who wants to help this type of person is a FN nut job, plain and siple, get it

    typical liberal A$$ hat always trying to save the world one POS at a time with other peoples money

    I hope this kid becomes a hagerstown resident for a long time he is not worth trying to save ever

  24. C. Smith says

    As a supporter of Bob, I cannot support this action. They had plenty of opportunity to not take the plea, yet decided it would be better to the the x number of years. He had a difficult life, no doubt, but it doesn’t excuse his actions.

    Now Ms.Siple wants to be a savior, have Bob relieve his abuse and indiscretions, so she can have him home. She supposedly goes to Hagerstown twice a week (back to back days). What about her other kids? It is almost like a weird Stockholm syndrome. Is there a Savior complex? Nightingale effect? I am all for fervent support, but this seems to border on obsession.

    • Queen Latino says

      It is very strange. It makes me wonder if there was something in her childhood that she lacked or is trying to make up for? I hear dad called the HCSO a few times about Bobby. I saw Bob and his dad a few times and yes they drove a POS car and lived in a POS house and didn’t have the best clothes. But I think dad did the best he could with the limited money he had. Its not like Bobbie was wearing rags. We can’t all live like the Paris Hilton, but we can do the best we can with what we got. Maybe Siple should use this money to help families that are struggling, instead of trying to Buy Bobbie an appeal. Heck I will represent Bobbie for $ 12,500, its free money for me and the little murderer will be found guilty.

  25. Lrintop says

    I think they lost a lot of people who were on the fence when they started blaming the teachers of CMW, the police officers, neighbors, store clerks. They blamed everyone and never once sat back and said maybe these people never witnessed anything. You cant take a boy away from his father because he doesn’t have the clothes or house like yours. The father was a alcoholic and I have no doubt a mean ass abusive man but if none if the household members are reporting anything how can these people who never witnessed abuse remove him? They blamed everyone they could think of.
    They really list me when I started seeing videos made by her daughter that made her look ridiculous. I saw where she said her daughter was being dragged into this by these posts on this page. Her daughter put herself smack in the middle by the comments, confessions and videos she posted herself. They have been all saved and reviewed. No one on here brought anyone into this mess.

  26. Marc A Eaton says

    I would just say I hope this kid can get the help he needs, accept responsibility and when he gets out he gets to start his life over again. Everyone makes mistakes, and yes his was a big one. Let him do his time, get his head on right and when he gets out prove all the people wrong who think he is just a killer and not someone with problems. Twelve years out of the job has made me see things different on a lot of things. There are some crimes I think execution is the only answer, this is not one of them. Give the kid a chance to prove he can change and be sorry. The trial is over let him get on with what he has to do and stop the nonsense already.

  27. Linda says

    She is now trying to help someone named Tommy also. If he is being charged as an adult it’s serious. When asked on her site what he was being charged with I noticed she said she didn’t know. I think if you are asking people to give their money to someone and “save” him you might want to know this important detail. Her stupidity drives me crazy. I can’t imagine how the cops, judges, lawyers feel about her. It’s like a circus.