Circuit Judge Sam Pope will set aside a special docket day, probably in February, to hear pretrial motions in the Kenneth Osburn capital murder and kidnapping case.
Pope was scheduled to hear motions Monday, a regular docket day, but due to the number of recently filed defense motions, including a motion for a continuance of the pretrial hearing, Pope agreed to reset the hearing.
Osburn, a 46-year-old widowed truck driver from Desha County, is accused of kidnapping and strangling a 17-year-old Pine Bluff girl with a zip-tie on Aug. 27.
Casey Crowder’s body, identified through dental records, was discovered near a drainage canal east of Dumas on Sept. 2 following a massive six-day search by local, state and federal officers.
The Watson Chapel High School senior was reported missing by her mother after she failed to return home from a visit to her boyfriend’s home at Pickens. Police believe Osburn abducted the girl on U.S. 65 at Dumas after her vehicle ran out of fuel.
Osburn faces a possible death sentence if convicted.
Osburn’s court-appointed attorney, Jim Wyatt, of Little Rock, recently filed 35 pretrial motions in the case, including a motion to declare the death penalty cruel and unusual punishment, a motion to quash the charges, a motion to suppress statements Osburn allegedly made to law enforcement officers, a motion for a continuance of the pretrial hearing and a motion for a continuance of the trial, currently set for May.
Wyatt was appointed to represent Osburn after 10th Judicial District Chief Public Defender Bing Colvin asked to be relieved from the case citing his heavy case load and the fact that witnesses in the case disclosed to him certain evidence that made him a witness in the case.
Wyatt’s co-counsel is Herbert T. Wright, Jr., also of Little Rock.