The police chase Tuesday indicated that the 16-year-old is a flight risk, Carver said. The seriousness of the charges show him to be a possible danger to the community, she added.

Richardson told Dunnigan he has family in Florida, but does not "associate" with them.

Public Defender Eric MacDonell, who also represented Richardson at the bail hearing, said the defense will consider filing a motion to have the case reversed to juvenile status, as well as a motion to assess Richardson's competency to stand trial. Both are standard defense moves in cases where juveniles are charged as adults with serious crimes

In continuing the teen's no bail status, Dunnigan said he would set the case to move as soon as possible.


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There was also a brief discussion during the hearing about what type of firearm was used in the killing.

Monica Worrell, spokesperson for the sheriff's office, later confirmed Wednesday a handgun was used to fatally shoot Mr. Richardson.

Prior calls to home

Worrell said Tuesday that the Harford County Sheriff's Office had responded to about a dozen calls in the past year at the Richardson home in the 800 block of Moore's Mill Road in Bel Air. Several involved missing children.

In one such incident, on Dec. 14, deputies were dispatched to the Aberdeen Police Department headquarters for a report of a missing child returned and found Robert C. Richardson III with his cousin, according to Worrell. The boy told police he had been in the Havre de Grace area and did not want to return home because he thought he was in trouble, Worrell added. In the missing persons report, Robert C. Richardson III told deputies his reason for leaving was because he was in trouble with law enforcement and at home.

This week's chain of events began when deputies initially responded to the 800 block of Moores Mill Road for a domestic call possibly involving a weapon at about 10:45 p.m. Monday, where they found blood and other evidence that someone could have been shot, according to a sheriff's office news release.

They then learned that Robert Richardson III left the house in a family vehicle. He was later spotted in a 1991 Chevrolet Blazer around 6 a.m. Tuesday. Officers from the sheriff's office, Bel Air Police Department and Maryland State Police pursued him until he crashed the vehicle into a block wall by Bel Air United Methodist Church at Linwood Avenue and Route 924.

The sheriff's office news releases say the 16-year-old confessed to killing his father, but they did not say how deputies discovered that the boy allegedly dumped the body into the Aberdeen pond where it was later found.

During the Harford County Council meeting Tuesday evening, Councilman Jim McMahan said Tuesday morning's police chase went past his own Bel Air home.

McMahan, who said the murder, "makes one wonder," compared Robert C. Richardson III with another teenager he recently met who is an Eagle Scout.

"What makes two young men so different?" McMahan asked rhetorically.

Danger trend

Mr. Richardson's killing was the third in and around Bel Air since mid-2010 and fourth since May 2006. In all four cases, those either charged or since convicted were 20 or younger. Prior to Robert Richardson Jr., all the victims were in their 20s.

The most recent killing before this week occurred Aug. 5, 2011, when a 29-year-old legally blind man was stabbed inside his apartment. Police charged a 17-year-old as an adult with first degree murder. He is in jail awaiting trial.

Following the stabbing last summer, Bel Air's town police chief said the town has not gotten any more dangerous, even though it had gone without a killing for almost 23 years before a 23-year-old man was stabbed to death by a 19-year-old man following a road rage incident at the start of the 2006 Memorial Day weekend.

In July 2010, a 25-year-old man was shot to death outside a party by a 20-year-old man, who pleaded guilty to second degree murder in December and received a 25-year sentence.

Aegis reporter Bryna Zumer contributed to this article.