A pretrial hearing for Kenneth Ray Osburn, the Desha County man charged with kidnapping and capital murder in connection with the August 2006 death of 17-year-old Casey Crowder, has been postponed until Aug. 23.

Circuit Judge Sam Pope granted a defense motion for the 5-month continuance following a conference call with Osburn’s attorney Jim Wyatt, of Little Rock, and 10th Judicial District Prosecutor Thomas Deen. The hearing, which will be held in Desha Circuit Court at Arkansas City, was originally set for this morning.

Deen said he did not object to the defense motion to allow more time to prepare for the hearing and trial.

The trial, originally set for May, has been continued until Sept. 21-22 and Sept. 24-27.

Wyatt has filed dozens of 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, and the motions for continuance.

Crowder, a senior at Watson Chapel High School, disappeared Aug. 27 after her vehicle ran out of gas on U.S. 65 at Dumas. Her body was found six days later in a wooded area near a drainage canal about six miles east of Dumas.

Police believe Osburn, a 46-year-old widowed truck driver from the Wolfe Project near McGehee, abducted and killed the girl. He faces a possible death sentence, if convicted.