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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A 19-year-old is in jail accused of killing his own baby.

The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office arrested Randy Lee Richardson early this morning and charged him with first degree murder in the death of four-month-old Colton Richardson. Hours later he made his first appearance in front of a judge.

“I can tell you the young man is distraught and upset, as you can imagine any young boy, ’cause he is a boy, he’s 19 years old, would be,” Richardson’s attorney James Payne said.

Although investigators have not released details of how the baby died, they say the incident that led to his death happened May 28. Payne said the child died five days later.

“The child did not die in Shallotte,” Payne said. “The child was life-flighted to, I believe, to Chapel Hill.”

The baby’s great grandfather confirmed that the child was receiving care in Chapel Hill.

Richardson lived with his child’s mother and grandmother in Shallotte. Colton’s grandmother was so upset, she did not want to talk on camera.

“You can imagine the kind of burden it’s going to be, or the kind of distress it would be to any family whose lost a love one, particularly a baby,” Payne said.

Neighbors we spoke with did not personally know Richardson or his son, but they were upset hearing about of the child’s death.

“Oh, it breaks my heart,” neighbor Jeanette Scott said. “I just can’t understand why somebody would take a child’s life, especially that young.”

Richardson is in jail without bond. He’s due back in court July 9.


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  • Ncteacher

    Why Innocent People Confess to Murder

    One night in April 1993, someone slit the throats of Gary Gauger’s elderly parents on their farm near Richmond, Ill. It was bad enough for Gauger to learn of his parents’ violent death, but it turned out that his nightmare was just beginning.

    Gauger told police that he was asleep on the property when his parents, Morris, 74, and Ruth, 70, were killed. But the police didn’t buy it, and brought him in for interrogation. After 21 hours of questioning, Gauger broke down and confessed to a crime he did not commit.

    Though police had no physical evidence against him, the confession was enough to persuade a jury to convict him of double murder. He was sentenced to death.

    Two years later, in an unrelated federal investigation, surveillance tapes captured a member of a motorcycle gang bragging about how he and another gang member had killed the Gaugers. The gang members were later convicted of the murders and other crimes, and Gauger was freed in 1996, after spending three years behind bars.

    Every year, thousands of criminals are convicted on the basis of confessions obtained from police interrogations. Experts say law enforcement interrogation techniques are so effective that they can break down the most hardened criminal — and even people who are innocent of the crime they are being accused of. Experts believe there have been hundreds of cases where innocent men succumbed to interrogation and confessed to crimes they did not commit.

    “You take someone who is vulnerable, like a grieving family member or someone who isn’t used to being confronted by police,” says Rich Fallin, a former Maryland police officer who specialized in interrogations, “If interrogated long enough, they’ll probably confess.”

    Assuming Police Tell the Truth

    During his interrogation, Gauger says, he kept denying any involvement with the murders. But he says police told him they had evidence. He mistakenly assumed police would not lie to him, an assumption often made by innocent people undergoing interrogation, according to experts.

    “They told me that they had found bloody clothes in my bedroom; they found a bloody knife in my pocket,” says Gauger, who never asked for an attorney, because he felt he had nothing to hide.

    At about 1 a.m., he says, the interrogation turned ugly. Police showed him gruesome crime scene photos of his dead parents, sending him into an emotional freefall. The combination of losing his parents and being told by police repeatedly that he was a liar and killer was just too much.

    “I was emotionally distraught, looking at these people for help,” he says. “They wouldn’t stop the interrogation. I was exhausted. I gave up.”

    Though Gauger had no memory of the crime, he ended up believing what police told him. “I thought I must have done it in a blackout,” he says.

    None of what Gauger described surprises Fallin. “They’re kept in an interview room, in a cold interview room, with very little clothing on for hours and hours,” he says, adding that people are often not given anything to drink or allowed to use the bathroom while being interrogated.

    The detectives who interrogated Gauger refused to be interviewed by ABCNEWS, but their lawyer in Gauger’s ongoing lawsuit denied that police lied.
    “I believe that the circumstances surrounding the interview of Gary Gauger were completely appropriate,” says Jim Sotos, a defense attorney for the police, who is still trying to raise doubts about Gauger’s innocence, even though another man is in jail for the crime.

    Psychological Warfare

    Allen Chestnet says he also fell victim to “thorough investigation.” In May 1998, the developmentally disabled man, then 16, cut his hand at his home in Maryland. As he was sitting on his front porch, local reporters covering the murder of Chestnet’s neighbor saw him. After noticing blood on his hand, they called state police.

    Chestnet, who had no violent history, was picked up and interrogated for hours.

    During the interrogation, he says, police seemed to have no doubts about his guilt.

    “He was like, ‘I know you did it, so why are you lying to me?,'” says Chestnet. “They had me so upset, I wasn’t thinking right.”

    For hours, he says, his interrogators told him he was a killer and said his denials were lies that were only getting him in deeper. He says he was desperate to appease the cops, who offered him an easy way out: by confessing.

    Even after authorities determined that his DNA did not match traces found at the crime scene, Chestnet was kept in jail until November 1998, where he says he was stabbed and raped twice by other inmates. Authorities contend they still had reason to suspect his involvement in the murder.

    To this day, Chestnet says he’s afraid of the police. He is suing authorities over his arrest and incarceration.

    In both the Chestnet and Gauger cases, police initially refused to admit they had coerced a confession from an innocent man, despite evidence clearing the suspect. According to Fallin, this kind of attitude is pervasive among interrogators.

    “Some of the detectives are hot shots. Some of them know they’re good, know they can get a confession,” he says. “Nobody tells them what to do or how to do it.”

    ‘They Wore Me Down’

    In Raymond Wood’s case, detectives in Maine had nothing more than suspicion that he had hit his girlfriend with a car and killed her. But police turned up the heat to entice him to confess.

    Wood had argued with his girlfriend, Bessie Selek, when he says he got fed up and drove to a store. Bessie, according to witnesses, left home soon after with a blood alcohol level of .28, walking in the opposite direction on a dark, remote road. She was hit by a car and killed.

    “You have no idea how much evidence I have, Raymond, do you hear me?,” one of the cops said during the interrogation, which was videotaped.

    In fact, witnesses reported seeing a van with a broken headlight speeding from the scene. Wood’s van had two working headlights. Also, a shattered bug shield at the scene didn’t match the van Wood was driving.

    Wood repeatedly denied any involvement in his girlfriend’s death, but the police pressure was too much for him. After about six hours in police custody, he gave in.

    “They literally, they wore me down. I was going through emotional torture by these people,” he says. “They convinced me that I had to have done it.”

    After seeing the videotape, a judge threw out his confession and police dropped all charges 3 but not before Wood spent a year in jail. Police declined to be interviewed, citing an ongoing investigation into Selek’s death. But in a statement, they stood by their detectives.

    Wood is free, but says it won’t really be over until there’s an apology from police.

    “It would take them down off their God-like pedestal, that [they] can make no mistakes,” says Wood, who would prefer an apology to financial compensation. “It would make them human again.” I believe this may answer your ?S

  • hannahjo

    ok listen here. i dont know who you are but my cousin is just standing up for her self, i dont care how you feel about it but you werent there, you dont know what went on. she is hurt by this more then anyone, summer loved that child more then life its self, more then her own life… do you know how much it kills her every day to wake up and not go through the normal everyday process of taking care of colton, spending time with him, loveing him??? that wasnt you that was her and her mama. even when she was sick or needed something she put her needs aside because thats how much she loved him.. she didnt need to , she didnt have to, but she did because he was her life.. she was always with him, and when she wasnt she was talking about him or looking a the thousand of pictures she toke of him… she may have not been his mother but she was the best aunt that any child could have asked for. they treat that beautiful boy like the pince of his own little kingdom… there was no better place in the world for that child then there with them. it breaks my heart to think that hes gone..and it kills her every day. and you know your right randy should have left, maybe colton would still be alive if he had.

  • Guest123456789

    First off Miss. Elkins you need to work on your spelling dear. People confess to crimes even murder that they did not do all the time. Anyone that looks up your dads record can see the he has been in prison most of your life so it is understandable that you feel the way you do about his impending prison stay. Lets not forget your mother’s “boyfriend” and his violent past and drug abuse. I don’t see how you could trust him with a baby. As far as Brandy goes she should have given the baby up for adoption if she had he would probably still be here today. It takes a sorry person to walk away from their child so I have NO SYMPATHY whatsoever for her. As far as Randy goes he should have left all of you behind when Brandy left for her next boy toy. Randy not being the father should never have been placed in a situation of caring for another mans son. At 19 you are still a child.

  • Guestsummerelkins

    this is summer elkins coltons aunt i lived in that house with randy mybmom and colton yes brandy did leave but itleast she was woman enough to admit that she was not ready for tye mother life but nomatter what she did she loves colton tha was her baby nomatter what she was his mother and if any of yall are a mother than yall shall know. yes i know no one doesnt want to believe that randy did it but guess what he admitted to it all yall commenting stuff when no one knows anything. when precious colton was in chaple hill and the detectives were assuming it was him me and my mom stood by randy. randys family knows i told them. yes randy did sign the birth certificate but honestly he was not eith colton like people thought tulhe only time he took care of colton was when he got off of work and me and mama were sleeping colton would wake up thats the only time me and my mom took care of colton evrryday even when randy was there i still took care of colton. but brandy noo!! she would never hurt him randy was mad and he wanted to sleep thats why he did it. and even though he is family to yall well yall should be ashamed of him he admitted it do yall not understand that if yall dont know what admitted means buy a dictionary im tired of seeing all this free weasel and we know you didnt do it think about it he didnt admit this for someone else this is a murder charge no one would take up for someone with murder…yall are crazy my family is the victims we lost something precious and its not bc god took him its bc a man did this and yall wont him free so what hes your family what he did was unacceptible and i dont understand how yall want him free colton couldnt tell us he was being hurt no one knew but like my mother days you never really know someone and that is completely true cause you dont. shoot my daddy sittin up in jail now about to go to prison but im not out here saying free him he made a crime and tyere is consequences for everyything you do yes it may be family but still lessons need to be learned and randy is guna pay there will be justice for colton tillman if yall dont like it im sorry but he did wrong rather yall believe it or not he is a monster and a murderer coltin was perfect he was an innocent baby go look at pictures of colton and then tell us you want randy the sick man free

  • Guuuuuest ggghjj

    So the poor little mother goes to the grave every day to see the baby and cry the shame she did not go to see him when he was alive or better yet way did she not have him living with her for if she had. Maybe he be alive today no pity hear for anyone but the baby

  • Georgia

    I am one of the Great Grandmother’s of this child that we never got the chance to meet. I think all of you need to leave it to the court to decide who is guilty. Brandy is my ganddaughter and we love her very much. We don’t know this young man but he is innocent until found guilty in a court of law. Please have respect for both sides of the family and don’t sit and type things just to start pointing fingers. Unless you were there in the house at the time it happened you DON’T know what happened. What i do know is there is a lot of people heartbroken for the loss of this precious baby.
    Thank you

  • Guest WHO

    How many times was this done and by HOW MANY and the mother is to blame for NOT being there for him for if she loved him and he was her world way did she leave him there when she left for the next man {boy} just look back at both his and her facebook before this happen to see who had pics of him and how much each had to say about him my heart goes out to the baby only

  • stwth

    This young man was put in an unenviable position that no one can judge without having been in his shoes, including the mother since she wasn’t there to know and experience. I don’t know him but I can imagine the circumstances that led to this awful tragedy and I know it happens more than anyone cares to know.

  • advice for guest007

    First off I would like to say, God Bless that little baby who isn’t with us on earth today. We need to believe he is in a better place than we are. NOW, GUEST007. You’re a right fighter that doesn’t know their boundaries. You talk to be right and when you are not right, you keep talking. Then you start alluding to things that are very sensitive, emotionally charged and a personnel issue that isn’t for public publication. The thing with right fighters, when you have made what you think is a valid point you continue to talk because your insecurity’s doesn’t allow you to concede/move on. You kept talking because you wanted to the identity of Guest005. This is a public blog that anyone can remain anonymous and that includes you guest007 and guest006. Throwing in accusation against the wrong person to reveal ones identity isn’t the right thing to do. I would also think that if you are an employee of this law firm or was at the time the “former employee”, as you referred to them, was terminated, you are pushing the envelope on violating HEPA laws’ considering the “former employee” was out on a medical according to her Mother’s post. I work with an HR department and can assure you that wasn’t cool. I agree with the person that wrote “this is a public blog”. No one is right and no one wrong so stop fighting to be RIGHT.

  • BR549

    so since the mother wasn’t there it was OK for the accused to kill the little baby? What difference did that make? I think everyone needs to stop and think about what they are writing. Go to morning star new. The article written posted there said he admitted to it. ” The person who killed my son admitted to it tonight.

  • Gughyjgukhyk.j.lest

    just look at both of mama and daddy facebook back before any of this happen also look at the aunts the 17 year old aunt dont even live at home looks like she following brandy and their own mamas foot steps was this the first time and who else had harmed the baby ALL need to answer for this!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guest0005

    Who gives the victims of the people he defends a “second chance at life”? I’m pretty sure you haven’t had a family member murdered and now your tax dollars supports that same person for the rest of his/her life. The kind of life your loved one didn’t get. I had an Aunt that was murdered. So instead of attacking me or anyone else that doesn’t share your opinion, and these are only opinions, or attacking people that aren’t as well spoken as guest0006 and guest000004 how about taking those words and write a post to the family of the little baby boy. As far as James Payne’s existence on this planet, it doesn’t impact my life one way or the other. I can assure you he knows I despise him. As far as my idiotic comments, Go to Facebook, W.James Payne Law Firm, Shallotte, North Carolina and take a look at every artical he has linked to his facebook page. Sorry I am not as smart as most of you but at least I care about the victims.

  • Guest12211

    People are constantly judging what they see! All of y’all are talking about how bad he is. How guilty he is! Why is Weasel the only one on trail? What about the mama? Why should Brandy not be questioned? Or the aunts or grandparents?! Many of you people don’t know Weasel! So don’t say he’s guilty already!! Weasel is loving, caring, and a wonderful man. Yes he may seem like a lazy teen but what does that say? He took care of his nephews when needed! He protected the ones he loved, he took care of the house, helped pay bills! Just because he seems lazy doesn’t mean he is an evil man.

    Randy we know you are innocent, we know you are grieving, but keep your head up! Mark my words anyone who talks bad about you will regret it! We love you Weasel, stay strong!!!

  • Guest0006

    Thanks for your very valuable comment. If I ever kill anyone I will. Thanks again.

  • Guest123

    You need to remember that he is ACCUSED and just because you admit to something don’t mean you actually did it. Why did Brandy choose to live away from her son? Why wasn’t she there”? If she couldn’t handle motherhood she should have given the baby up for adoption instead she choose to walk away. I don’t know Weasel but I pray he has a just trial. I believe that everyone at that house needs to be looked into: the Grandmother, the “Grandfather” (Bobby Elkins is the real grandfather),and the aunt that resides there. My heart breaks ONLY for the child the true innocent. Not all teen parents are immature but this is a case in which better birth control methods should have been used better yet abstinence should have been practiced.

  • george

    the mother left the baby and doesn’t even live in the house or even the same city. And yes I know this for a fact. I am best friends with randys uncle

  • Guestgjfjdyrtf

    you are so right the other residents of that home need to be looked at and very possibly charged. If he did commit this horrible crime he does deserve to be punished. I hope his lawyer will see to it he has a fair trial and the punishment fits the crime.

  • Guest147258

    Inquiring minds want to know: has everyone associated with the people that live in the household been questioned about the incident? Truly with there being 6 people(the grandmother, mother,aunt#1, aunt#2, Randy and the baby) living in the household that SOMEONE had to be home at all times; seeing how the mother of the child was a “house wife”. There has been no documentation through the BCSO or the news media stating that everyone had been questioned. So exactly what kind of evidence was found or proclaimed to point towards Randy being the “killer”? It amazes me how many people are quick to judge and voice their opinions on a matter that they actually know nothing about. Heresy is just that, word of mouth, words that get twisted with each telling of the story. Do any of you know the story behind Randy and the mother of the child? Randy stepped up to the plate to be this childs father before he was even born, because the biological father was no longer in the picture. You tell me, how can someone willing to do this, be a father of a child that is not his, kill the child? The death of the child could have actually been the conclusion of a series of events over a length of time by EVERYONE that lived in the household! More food for thought!

  • Guest123

    Randy I a good guy! I find it hard to believe he would do such a thing. I have worked with Randy for many months and he always told me how he goes home and plays with his son while he hangs out. I just hope the truth comes out and a innocent man is not made guilty. I hope you get out randy!

  • Guest59

    What in the world is your problem with Mr. Payne? It seems like you always have a comment about how awful he is to defend people. If you have a problem with him, then take it to him instead of airing it all over the internet. You may not like his profession or the clients he represents, but you would be well served to have him as an attorney if you ever needed one. Be careful about casting stones at the man – you never know when you may need a good attorney.

  • Guest000004

    Apparently you don’t know the difference between law and life. Mr. Payne is one of the most highly and respected men in this state. His career is focused on one main goal, and that’s giving people a second chance at life. You think you must know him so well to know he has grandkids and is (what you call) an ‘idiot.’ Well maybe if you were not such an idiot to post such false accusations against Mr. Payne, we wouldn’t have this problem. If you want to call someone an idiot, how about you point the finger around and learn how to use correct grammar. This case has nothing to do with the fact that Mr. Payne represents this man or that he is an idiot. Why don’t you do us all a favor and stop posting idiotic comments with incorrect grammar… IDIOT!

  • Reba

    this is what happens when teenagers have babies…all these little girls watch TV…and think they can do it or its a way to keep a boy around..I hope a few other learn from this and use birth control..it only takes one shake to kill a baby…a glance the other way and the bay rolls of the table..they are just way to young to be producing babies…not sure of what happened in this case…but its time kids woke up

  • Guestghfcdg

    I think everyone needs to stop judging. We none know exactly what happened. I understand there where other adults in the home why haven’t they been charged? My heart breaks for the baby. As far as the adults are concerned I don’t know enough to sympathize with or feel rage against any of them. One thing I know for sure is that all children are a gift fro5m God.

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