Support grows for teen accused of killing father; waives right to preliminary hearing

Robert Richardson appeared in court

BEL AIR, Md. - Crystal Testerman and Robyn Eisner haven't spoken in 20 years, but it was Robert Richardson's young face accused with such a heinous crime that brought them back together.


"Oh my God we busted into tears.  It breaks my heart.  He is just a kid.  It breaks my heart.  I mean we are all moms and we just want to do something for a kid in our community," said Testerman.


It is a support effort that started and is growing on Facebook. The group for the teen is called 'Free Robert (Bob) Richardson III.'


These moms and their kids say they saw and heard enough anecdotal evidence of alleged abuse by Richardson's father sparking them to help pool funds for a private attorney.


By no means condoning what police say was murder, but helping the teen leverage a better fight as to why.


"Just a kid, even though he was a nice kid and everything, it had to be more than just yelling that went on in that house for him to do what he had to do.  He snapped," said Eisner.


But did he?


The Harford County Sheriff's Office says they have responded to the Richardson household 16 times in the last three years but according to police reports, none of those reports were for neglect, abuse or domestic violence.


Records show many of the reports involved the 16 year old disappearing but returning home safe and unharmed.


Still, abuse may very well be a defense hashed out during trial, the beginning of which happened today when the teen waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the charge of first degree murder.


It was all done quickly in front of a courtroom full of Bel Air teens and mothers pledging support of a child they truly believe is a victim rather than a murderer.


"We think he fell through the cracks.  They should have yanked him from that house a long time ago if this is what was going on to put him in a better environment so he would have a chance," said Eisner.


There were also some family members in the courtroom today, none of whom wanted to appear on camera.


Richardson's sister did tell us she would fight for her brother until he is free.

Print this article Back to Top