• Petitioned Joseph I. Cassilly, Harford County State's Attorney's Office

This petition was delivered to:

Joseph I. Cassilly, Harford County State's Attorney's Office
Gov. Martin O'Malley

Drop first degree murder charges for Robert Richardson III

    1. Eileen Siple
    2. Petition by

      Eileen Siple

      Bel Air, MD

On January 9, 2012, Robert Richardson III, 16, shot and killed his father, Robert Richardson, Jr. in the home they shared in Bel Air, Maryland. The event came as a shock to this small, tight-knit community, many of whom had known of the younger Robert Richardson and the turbulent relationship he shared with his father. As a result of the shooting, Robert Richardson has been charged as an adult with First and Second Degree Murder.

What might otherwise be just another violent expression of a “youth gone bad,” has engendered the opposite reaction in much of Robert’s community and beyond. Affectionately known to his friends and family as “Bear,” Robert, by most accounts, suffered serious and multi-faceted abuse by his father for much of his life. Those who knew or observed Robert often saw him wearing the same clothes for days at a time, covered with multiple bruises, and showing other evidence of extreme problems in his home.

The subject of child abuse, the need for those who know to take action, and the terrible consequences that the victim can suffer when no action is taken goes far beyond this particular case. This case, however, should serve as an example of what can happen when the desperate cries of a child victim of abuse go unheeded, and our children are left to fend for themselves.

We believe that Robert Richardson should not be charged with First Degree Murder, but rather with a lesser charge in the more appropriate juvenile justice system. It is there that he can get the attention, counseling, and services that he desperately needs, so that he can, at some point in the future, return to society as a fully functioning and productive member of that society. We believe that Robert's actions were a direct result of the abuse he suffered, and the failure of "the system" to protect him and keep him safe. We believe that Robert's life continues to hold value and that he deserves the opportunity to heal from his suffering and take his rightful place in society.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 2,000 signatures
    2. 1222 signatures so far!

      Eileen Siple
      Petition Organizer

      We met our initial goal of 1000 signatures. Please, share this petition with all of your friends and family. We need to make sure we are heard. We cannot let this child's life be thrown away in the adult prison system. Children should be tried in juvenile courts!

    3. Reached 1,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Christa Ford OAK HARBOR, WA
      • about 2 years ago

      I fully agree with giving him a much lesser sentence and an opportunity to heal and become part of our society. When one is abused so horribly, from the age of a young child, one can sometimes only think of how to escape that abuse, and the abuse must have been horrible for it to end like this. Many who knew him knew he was abused, so there is that evidence! God bless him!

    • terri robinson EDGEWATER, MD
      • about 2 years ago

      I feel like this is a case of battered child syndrome...He snapped,nobody should have to live with abuse.

    • Lawrence Shinaberry DUNDALK, MD
      • about 2 years ago

      After years of abuse I don't think he could see any other way out. Plus no one in authority stepped up to help this child even though they knew there was a problem. Get him the help he needs and show him the compassion he's never experienced.

    • tammy lavanway CHARLEVOIX, MI
      • about 2 years ago


    • Wendi Lesley ODESSA, TX
      • about 2 years ago

      Child abuse causes permanent damage and everyone has a breaking point. Someone in authority should have stepped in and this could have been prevented.


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