Abigail Richardson said her half-brother "didn't go to school much," and had a passion for cars. She said her father and brother were fixing up a Chevrolet Camaro but didn't pursue the hobby together. "It was more like my dad bought the parts and [my brother] would make the repairs," she said.
Abigail added, "I think that if he hadn't crashed the car he would have got away. He was a good driver."
Eric P. Macdonell, a court-appointed attorney who will represent Richardson, said after the hearing that he had just been assigned the case and was unable to comment.
"We just don't know enough right now," he said. He did say that the defense team would consider challenging Richardson's competency, among other defenses, as a legal strategy.
An investigator also has been assigned to assist with the defense.
Abigail Richardson, who lives in Harford County, met with the public defender's office for more than an hour after the hearing. She declined to comment on what was discussed.
The lawyers "told me they'd keep me posted," she said.
She added, "I wish I could talk to him now." Abigail said it was heartbreaking to see her brother on the TV screen in the courtroom. "It makes me want to cry to know my baby brother's in jail."
Grief counselors were available Wednesday to students and teachers at C. Milton Wright High School, school officials said.
Every employee or volunteer in the school system who believes or has reason to believe that a child has been abused or neglected is required to report the circumstances to Protective Services and or the police. In addition, upon becoming aware of any suspected abuse or neglect, the employee or volunteer is to bring the matter to the attention of the principal.
Police had not received any such reports on the Richardson family, Worrell said.