(Daily Mail By MICHAEL ZENNIE) – A boy, 16, will be tried as an adult for first-degree murder after he admitted to gunning down his father in their run-down home outside Bel Air, Maryland, and dumping his body in a pond last month.
Since his arrest, two pictures of Bob Richardson III have emerged. One is of a truant and a trouble-maker who often ran away from home, had frequent run-ins with police and was getting increasingly uncontrollable for his father, Robert Richardson Jr.
Friends and some family members, though, say the teen was the victim of abuse and neglect by a father who constantly screamed at him, allegedly beat him and sent him to school unwashed with torn, dirty clothes that never fit.
Hundreds of people in the small town of Bel Air — some who know Bob Richardson, but mostly those who don’t — have been taking to Facebook and YouTube and organizing fundraisers in support of the high school freshman.
They have hired a private lawyer to defend him and are sending money so he can buy snacks and amenities in jail.
What’s clear, though, is that the unkempt house where Richardson, called ‘Bear’ by his family, lived with his father was the scene of a gruesome murder.
Police were called to the house the night of Jan. 9 and found blood smeared on the front stoop, the Baltimore Sun reported.
They followed a trail of blood back to the bedroom, where they found bed sheets stained with blood.
Bob later admitted to police he had shot his father, 58, to death and then transported his body 10 miles away to pond near his grandmother’s home.
He led officers to the body, in a spot near where father and son had ridden ATVs together.
Authorities have not given a motive for the killing and have not responded to stories in the community that Bob shot his father after sustaining years of abuse.
The dead man’s brother says he yelled at his son frequently but he loved the boy dearly.
‘You know how people are. They wanna talk when they don’t know what they’re talking about. But I for one know he never was abused,’ Will Richardson told the Sun.
He said his brother started to come unhinged after his wife, Bob’s mother, died of cancer six years ago. Bob hasn’t handled the loss well, either, he added.
But Bob’s supporters maintain there is clear evidence of abuse.
Stephanie Giordano, the manager of MacGregor’s Restaurant in Bel Air, which sponsored a recent fundraiser for Bob, told the Sun she saw Robert screaming at his son, who was on the floor, at a Target store years ago.
‘When (the shooting) happened, I said, “I should have done something.”‘