Jury Reaches Verdict in Shelley Richter Trial
COLE COUNTY - After deliberating for more than five hours Wednesday, a jury found Shelley Richter not guilty on first count abuse of a child. However, she was found guilty on the second count of endangering the welfare of a child. Richter could spend seven years in prison for the class C felony.
The defense has the opportunity to file for a new trial, and if they choose not to do so, the court will start the process for sentencing.
Richter is accused of abusing seven-month-old Lane Schaefer at her daycare home in August of 2010. Cole County prosecutors charged Richter with abuse of a child and endangering the welfare of a child in September of 2010.The trial has been delayed three times in the past, delaying the trial for more than two years since Richter was charged.
According to the probable cause statement, Richter was babysitting Schaefer on August 19, 2010, and said she accidentally tripped over another child and dropped the baby. When the child became limp, Richter said she called a neighbor before calling 911 or Schaefer's family.
[Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of "Shelley" and "Schaefer," and correct the date.]