Fundraiser for Bel Air teen accused of murder a success, organizer says

Supporters of a 16-year-old Bel Air boy charged with his father's murder raised several hundred dollars for him at a restaurant fundraiser in Havre de Grace Tuesday night.

Visitors to MacGregor's Restaurant could opt to have 20 percent of their bill donated in support of Robert C. Richardson III, of the 800 block of Moores Mill Road, who has been charged as an adult with first- and second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in a felony violent crime.

The fundraiser Tuesday evening raised more than $400 for the cause, one of the organizers said, and more fundraisers are in the works.

For Eileen Siple, and several of Richardson's supporters on the Facebook page "Free Robert (Bob) Richardson III," the main goals of their effort has been to hire Richardson a private attorney and to get his case moved to juvenile court.

"Juvenile cases belong in juvenile court," Siple said Thursday.

Siple's daughter, 10th-grader, started the "Free Robert (Bob) Richardson III" Facebook page, which as of Thursday afternoon had 846 likes. Once the online community started to grow, Siple said, she stepped in to help manage the page.

Starting the page was "therapeutic" for her daughter, Siple said, who felt she did not do enough for Richardson, a freshman at C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air.

"She talked with him regularly and they ate lunch with him sometimes," Siple said of her daughter. "She definitely saw a lot of bumps and bruises."

Siple said she was buoyed by the turnout for Tuesday's fundraiser in Havre de Grace.

Overall, it was "overwhelming," she added, to see that many people come together to support Richardson. An online donation page has also been set up and as of Thursday afternoon, reported $4,045 in donations. A private attorney has also been hired for Richardson, Marc Snyder, of a Baltimore law firm.

Richardson is being held without bond at the Harford County Detention Center after admitting to killing his father, Robert Richardson Jr., in early January. He was charged with allegedly shooting his father late at night on Jan. 9.

Deputies found Richardson the next morning after he led them on a brief chase before crashing his vehicle into a wall near a Bel Air church. His father's body was found partially submerged in a pond behind a relative's home in Aberdeen, according to police.

Richardson waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Jan. 17 in Harford County District Court. His next scheduled court date is a felony dismissal hearing on Feb. 20, where his case is expected to be moved to Harford County Circuit Court.

Siple said, the growing online community continues to support Richardson by donations to his attorney, sending money to the detention center for his purchases and by writing letters to him.

"I hope that we are giving him hope," she said.

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