The Bel Air teen accused of murdering his father withdrew an insanity plea in a motion submitted in Harford County Circuit Court late last week.
Robert Richardson III, 16, filed a plea of Not Criminally Responsible by Reason of Insanity earlier this month, a plea which—if successful—would clear him of any criminal responsibility in the Jan. 9 murder of his father, Robert Richardson Jr.
According to Maryland law, under an insanity plea the defense must prove beyond a preponderance of the evidence that the accused either could not appreciate that his actions were of a criminal nature, or that the accused could not control himself from committing the crime.
The decision to withdraw the plea came only days after Richardson completed a court-ordered competency evaluation, during which his psychological state would have been examined by medical professionals.
According to police, Richardson shot his father at their home in the 800 block of Moores Mill Road in Bel Air, before dumping the body in an Aberdeen pond and leading officers on a chase which ended with Richardson crashing into the Bel Air United Methodist Church in Bel Air.
Richardson has been awaiting trial in the Harford County Detention Center after being indicted as an adult for first-degree murder in Circuit Court in February. The trial was originally set to begin in July before Judge Stephen Waldron, but was postponed until January after Baltimore attorney Andrea Jaskulsky joined the defendant’s legal team.
Neither Richardson’s lead attorney, Marc Snyder, nor Assistant State’s Attorney Diane Tobin responded to several calls for comment.