Almost four years after the Arkansas Supreme Court threw out the conviction of a Desha County man who was accused in the death of a Pine Bluff teenager in 2006, another trial has been set in the case.
Kenneth Ray Osburn was sentenced to life in prison in Ashley County Circuit Court in 2007 after being convicted of capital murder and kidnapping in the Aug. 27, 2006 death of Casey Crowder, 17, of Pine Bluff.
Crowder’s body was found Sept. 2 with a black zip-tie around her neck.
According to 10th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Deen’s office, a pretrial hearing in the case is set for 1 p.m. Aug. 5 at the Ashley County Courthouse in Hamburg, and the trial is scheduled Aug. 22-30.
Osburn had been scheduled for trial beginning last Thursday but that trial was continued at the request of the defense.
In 2009, the state’s high court said Osburn’s Fifth Amendment rights were violated when he was questioned by investigators who continued to talk to him after he told them he wanted a lawyer.
Osburn was identified as a suspect two days after Crowder’s body was found and he was interviewed twice Sept. 4, the first time by Special Agents Rick Newton and David Chastain of the Arkansas State Police, the second time by Chastain and FBI Special Agent Boyd Boshears.
During that second interview, the state court said, Osburn denied any involvement in the slaying and asked for a lawyer.
“Despite that request however, the interview continued,” Associate Supreme Court Justice Paul Danielson wrote in the divided court opinion.
Osburn was arrested Sept. 28 and taken to a shed on then-sheriff’-elect Jim Snyder’s property, where he was again questioned by Newton and Boshears.
“Again, Agents Newton and Boshears attempted to obtain a confession from Osburn and according to Agent Newton, used various tactics and investigative techniques in an attempt to ‘change his demeanor.’ While the transcript and recording of the interview reveal at one point Osburn asked the agents to call his lawyer, the interview continued,” Danielson said in the court ruling.
In February 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would not review the Arkansas Supreme Court ruling, as they had been requested to do by the Attorney General’s Office.
Osburn is being held without bond at the Ashley County Detention Center at Hamburg.