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Hope is a Flower in the DesertSalem-News.com
Young Bob Richardson's story is one of survival. Too much abuse led to the killing of his father.
(BEL AIR, Md.) - On Jan 9 2012, Bob Richardson allegedly killed his father, Robert Richardson, Jr. (58). He was apprehended by police the next day. We believe that Bob was driven to desperation by years of abuse and neglect at the hands of his father, some of which may have been witnessed by friends and family. Bob was often seen with bruises, or in ill-fitting worn clothing. It has been alleged that his father abused ...him, verbally, emotionally, and physically.
Bob is known to be a great friend; he is the person that other kids went to when they needed advice or had a problem, He continues to do this, even fro his jail cell. We know he is not evil or malicious, and would not willfully harm anyone, if there were a way to avoid it. We know that Bob tried to escape his abuser by running away, but he was found and returned to the abusive situation each time. We know that the police were called to the home often, and we know that some of those calls were placed by neighbors who were concerned about Bob's safety. We also know that Child Protective Services claim that no reports were ever made to that agency, and that Bob was never on their radar.
Bob's story is one of survival. He survived the long illness and eventual death of his mother when he was only 10 years old, as well as the subsequent loss of much of his support system, as those supports were systematically cut off from the young boy. He survived years of abuse and horror, while living with a man who was known to abuse drugs and alcohol. He survived 10 months in a segregated cell in an adult jail, and he has continued to survive for almost a year in the adult jail system, denied any form of counseling, education, or rehabilitation. And somehow, through all of this, he remains positive, although it is difficult to imagine how that could be.
This is also a story of a broken "justice" system - a system in which the State's attorney would publicly speak out against this child, without knowing the circumstances surrounding the boy or the reasons behind his actions. This system would then ignore its own failings in its inability to help this child before that fateful day, and then charge him with first degree murder, and toss him into the adult system, hoping to throw him away for the rest of his life. And this system would place him into an adult jail, pending trial, as if he had already been tried and convicted. And then, in order to ensure his safety within that facility, the system would put him in segregation for 10 months, a condition which is well know to cause significant psychological damage.
And finally, this is a story about love. Bob's unending capacity for love has amazed so many of us. In spite of the hand that has been dealt to him, he continues to love his friends and family fiercely and without regret. He has somehow remained positive throughout his ordeal, although it's difficult to understand how that could be possible. But this is also a story of how strangers, from all over the world and from all walks of life, have come together to love a boy that they have never met - a boy that has not known this type of unconditional love for a very long time.
Bob's case was initially handled by an attorney, Marc Snyder, who agreed to take the case pro bono. Mr. Snyder requested a two month delay in the trial date, when a second attorney joined his team, but after almost a year, Mr. Snyder determined that he would be unable to continue to represent Bob, due to financial considerations, and he handed the case to the State's Public Defender's Office, This resulted in another 5 month delay. His case is now set to go to trial in May of 2013, and we are confident that he is, at this time, getting the very best legal representation possible, with attorneys Kay Beehler and Stephanie McArdle.
We believe that the charge of first degree murder is not appropriate, and that this case should be remanded to the juvenile courts, where Bob would be more likely to get the help he needs. We have set up this page as a way for all of us to show our support for Bob. We want him to know that we care about him, and we believe he deserves the opportunity to live a happy life, without fear, and with the love and support of the people around him.
Mail can be sent to:
Money orders can also be sent to Bob's commissary at the above address. The money order should be made out to Harford County Detention Center. Bob's name and ID# must be in the memo line. You can NOT put his name on the payee line. This can read Harford County Detention Center only. His name and ID # have to be written elsewhere on the money order.
From the detention center: Inmates may receive mail addressed to them under the following conditions:
The mail must be properly addressed to the inmate and contain his identification number. Detention Center staff may not provide you that number. The inmate must give you that identification number. If the mail does not have the identification number on the envelope, it will not be delivered.
Detention Center staff open and screen all mail for contraband. They open legal mail in the presence of the inmate.
Requested books, publications, etc., must come from the publisher.
Inmates cannot receive packages.
Inmates may make telephone calls from phones within the dormitories. These calls must be made as collect calls – calling cards MAY NOT be used.
Our Website- http://www.supportrobby.org/
In the News
CBS - http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/
Fox 45 - www.foxbaltimore.com/newsroom/
The Dagger - http://www.daggerpress.com/
The Patch - http://belair.patch.com/
The Baltimore Sun - http://www.baltimoresun.com/
The Aegis - http://www.baltimoresun.com/
WBAL - http://www.wbaltv.com/news/
the Examiner - http://www.examiner.com/
ABC - http://www.abc2news.com/dpp/
DailyMail - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/
Pendulum Foundation - http://pendulumfoundation.com/
WJZ - http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/
Cry of the Hawk - http://my.hsj.org/Schools/
Ark of Hope for Children - http://paper.li/AbusedKids/
Moira's Video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?