Murder conviction reversed | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Murder conviction reversed

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 4:26 PM

A split Arkansas Supreme Court today voted 5-2 to reverse the capital murder conviction and life sentence of Kenneth Ray Osburn, who was convicted of the August 2006 kidnaping and slaying of 17-year-old Casey Crowder of Pine Bluff. Her vehicle was found abandoned near Dumas and her body subsequently was found near a canal in Desha County. Here's the decision.

The Court ruled that incriminating statements Osburn gave to police should be suppressed because they came after he'd requested legal counsel and because they were not voluntary, having been coerced by investigators using references to Osburn's family to get his cooperation. The two dissenting justices argued that he had "initiated" the talks with police and thus the statements were admissible. They also said they didn't believe the interrogation had been coercive. Justice Robert Brown, one of the dissenters, said he believed that striking the evidence would make a retrial of Osburn a "remote possibility."

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