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Casey Crowder killer gets supreme court hearing

A year and a half after a jury sentenced him to life in prison, attorneys for Kenneth Osburn, 48, want his conviction thrown out. Osburn was convicted in January 2008 of killing 17-year old Casey Crowder of Pine Bluff.
A year and a half after a jury sentenced him to life in prison, attorneys for Kenneth Osburn, 48, want his conviction thrown out.  Osburn was convicted in January 2008 of killing 17-year old Casey Crowder of Pine Bluff.

Osburn's attorneys arguing to the Arkansas Supreme Court their client's murder confession was illegally coerced by police.  Meanwhile, Crowder's family sat in the courtroom listening to every word.

Little has changed for Melinda Crowder and her family.

"We totally believe he's guilty," Melinda Crowder says.

Osburn was convicted of killing her daughter.  According to prosecutors, Osburn kidnapped the Watson Chapel senior from the side of U.S. Hwy 65 south of Dumas, strangling her and dumping her body in a Desha County field in August 2006.  Her body was located after a week long search.

After an Ashley county jury sentenced him to life in prison Osburn's attorneys say now his confession should be thrown out.

In arguments before the supreme court Thursday morning, defense attorney Patrick Benca argued detectives made promises if he cooperated and made Osburn believe they'd arrest his daughter if he didn't confess.

“We believe his statement should be suppressed because the interrogating officers violated his right and as a result gave into the threats and promises of leniency and gave a false confession,” Benca says.

"I just don't think anyone would say they killed somebody if they didn't do it," Crowder says.

Deborah Gore, arguing for the attorney general's office, countered saying police made no promises to Osburn and he freely gave his confession to detectives.

"I know that the supreme court judges didn't know who I was out in that audience but I knew I was there, but I was there for Casey," Crowder says.

Now Crowder hopes justices agree with the lower courts and keep Osburn in prison.

“I'd never been through something like this before I didn't know we wouldn't find out today so it's just another wait," Crowder says.

There is no timeline for a decision to be handed down.  But it's expected to be some time between one and two months.
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