The Bel Air teen accused of murdering his father appeared in Harford County District Court Tuesday morning to waive his preliminary hearing.
Robert C. Richardson III entered the crowded courtroom moments before his hearing began, appearing confident in the shackles and inmate uniform issued in detention. He stood calmly under the scrutiny of Judge Victor K. Butanis and Assistant State’s Attorney Melissa Lambert, who remained largely silent during the hearing.
In a preliminary hearing, the court determines whether probable cause exists to charge a suspect with a crime.
Assistant Public Defender Eric MacDonell explained to his client the decision that was being announced, and the implications of waiving his hearing. Richardson clearly stated his understanding of his decision, effectively ending the morning’s session. Neither the judge nor prosecution gave any concluding statements.
Richardson returned to the courthouse holding area immediately after the hearing, followed by MacDonell. Lambert was not immediately available for comment.
According to police, Richardson killed his father, Robert C. Richardson Jr., 58, in their Moores Mill Road home late in the evening of Jan. 9 and dumped the body in a pond on property owned by a relative on Gilbert Road in Aberdeen.
He was spotted by state troopers early the next morning driving a family vehicle, and led three police departments on a chase through Bel Air. The pursuit ended when Richardson crashed into a structure outside the Bel Air Methodist Church on Linwood Avenue, fled on foot, and was apprehended in a nearby residential neighborhood. Police said he later admitted killing his father and told investigators where to find his body.