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EXECUTED - Curtis Osborne - Georgia Death Row - Scheduled Execution
Scheduled Executions
Upcoming Executions
Start : Wednesday 4 June 2008, 22:00
End : Wednesday 4 June 2008, 22:00


Curtis Osborne - Georgia Death Row - Scheduled execution for June 4, 2008

Victims: Arthur Lee Jones and Linda Lisa Seaborne

The Crime: At approximately 1:45 p.m. on August 7, 1990, Special Agent David Mitchell of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called to Pine View Road in a desolate area of Spalding County, to investigate a murder. (T. 1031).[1] When Agent Mitchell arrived at the scene, he noticed glass fragments lying on the dirt roadbed. (T. 1031). A 1978 Pontiac Grand Prix was about forty yards from the glass. Id. The car was in gear and still running. The car had gone off the road into a ditch on the right hand side and the two left tires were barely on the shoulder of the road. Id. The right front tire of the car was up on a bank and the right rear tire was in a ditch. Id. The driver’s door glass had been shattered and part of the glass was inside the car on the front seat and floorboards and armrests. The windshield was cracked and the passenger window was rolled down. (T. 1037). The victims, Linda Lisa Seaborne and Arthur Jones, were in the front seat of the car. (T. 1039). Ms. Seaborne, who was in the driver’s seat, was slumped over Mr. Jones. (T. 1037-1039). Both of the victims had been shot. There was a black stick, similar to a policeman’s nightstick, lying on the floorboard to the rear of the driver’s seat. (T. 1040).

An inspection of the car revealed that a bullet had struck the windshield and then passed underneath it through the padded dash. The bullet was lying on the vent. (T. 1049). Additionally, there was a bullet resting on the driver’s door where the glass was shattered. (T. 1052). Arthur Jones had sustained a gunshot wound below his left eye and Linda Seaborne was shot in the neck. (T. 1053). There was blood all over the interior of the vehicle. (T. 1054).

At approximately 5:30 a.m., Special Agent Chris Tolbert arrived at the residence of the sister of Arthur Lee Jones, Melinda Jones. Osborne, who was the boyfriend of Melinda Jones, was also present at her house. Ms. Jones told Agent Tolbert that Osborne was trying to sell a motorcycle for victim, Arthur Lee Jones. (T. 1085-1086). Osborne told Agent Tolbert that, three weeks earlier, Arthur Lee Jones had asked Osborne to help him sell his motorcycle. Osborne claimed that he had not sold the motorcycle or spoken to Arthur Lee Jones since that time. Osborne also told Agent Tolbert that the only contact that he had with victim Linda Seaborne was a week and a half earlier when he was trying to change the title to the motorcycle. (T. 1037).

In the afternoon, Osborne was interviewed at the Sheriff’s office. Osborne repeated the same story that he had told Agent Tolbert about the motorcycle. (T. 1089-1090). Osborne also said that victim Arthur Lee Jones had approached Osborne because Mr. Jones needed money. Osborne had offered for Jones to sell cocaine for money, but Jones declined. (T. 1089-1090).

Later the same afternoon, a person named Marcus Matthews told police that Osborne had sold him Mr. Jones’ motorcycle for $400 a week before the murders. (T. 1072-1074). On August 7, the day after the murder, at about 5:30 a.m., Osborne awakened Mr. Matthews and told him that the police wanted to see the motorcycle because "a guy had been killed.” Mr. Matthews gave the key to the motorcycle to Osborne and Osborne left. Mr. Matthews subsequently went to the Sheriff’s office to inquire as to why the motorcycle had been impounded. (T. 1074-75).

Osborne was arrested and interviewed a third time. During this interview, Osborne admitted that he had sold Arthur Lee Jones’ motorcycle to Marcus Matthews and kept the money, but Osborne denied that he had anything to do with the shootings. Osborne consented to a gunshot residue test to see if he had fired a gun recently and he told police that the test would come back positive because he fed his dog gunpowder on a daily basis. (T. 1096). Osborne also explained that the blood under his cuticles was due to a hangnail. (T. 1096).

Additionally, Osborne told authorities that his fingerprints could have been on the Grand Prix in which the victims were found, since he had gone to WalMart to get a title for the motorcycle from Linda Seaborne, a week earlier. Id. At that time, Linda Seaborne asked Osborne to move her car from one location in the parking lot to another location and he had complied. (T. 1096). Osborne agreed to provide police with the clothes he was wearing on the day of the murders, but said that his mother had previously washed these clothes in Clorox bleach. (T. 1146).

Osborne was interviewed again on August 10, 1990 at 6:35 p.m. by Spalding County Sheriff Richard Cantrell. (T. 1326-1348). Osborne told Sheriff Cantrell that on the day of the crime, he left a message for Arthur Jones to come to Griffin, Georgia to pick up the money from the sell of Mr. Jones’ motorcycle. (T. 1326). Osborne subsequently went to the liquor store. Osborne spent the afternoon on the street selling cocaine, until a well-known narcotics officer came through the neighborhood. (T. 1326-1327). Later that evening, as Osborne was walking down the street, Arthur Lee Jones and Linda Lisa Seaborne drove up. (T. 1328). According to Osborne, Arthur Jones told Osborne to get in the car and then Jones hit Osborne with a nightstick.

Arthur Jones asked Osborne for money for the motorcycle and Osborne told him that it was in a hotel room with "Jeff" and "Scott," two Cuban drug dealers from Florida. (T. 1330). Osborne stated that they stopped at the motel where Jeff and Scott were allegedly staying to pick up some money and Scott gave him a .38 caliber gun, which Osborne stuck in his "drawers" and then walked out to the car. (T. 1333).

Osborne claimed that he shot Arthur Lee Jones in the back of the head because Jones had threatened to beat him and was reaching for a weapon on the floorboard of the car. (T. 1334). Osborne claimed that he climbed out of the driver’s side window of the car and ran away. Osborne could not remember where he left his gun and his beeper. (T. 1298). The Sheriff observed scratches on Osborne, as if Osborne had been running through the woods, but Osborne had no bruises in the places where he claimed that victim Jones had struck him. (T. 1321). Osborne’s gun was never recovered.

An autopsy revealed that Arthur Jones died as a result of a gunshot wound to the back of the head which exited to the left of his eye. (T. 1249). The blood pattern showed that Jones’ body was in an upright position when the victim was shot and that the gun was only an inch away from the victim’s head when it was fired. (T. 1249-1250). The bullet fractured Jones’ skull, causing hemorrhage and destruction of brain tissue. (T. 1243).

Linda Seaborne died as a result of a gunshot wound to the back of the neck. (T. 1256). The bullet entered the right side of her neck, grazed the shoulder up through the spinal cord, went through the bottom of her skull and exited through her left cheek. (T. 1259). The gunshot wound was inflicted from one to two feet away from Ms. Seaborne. (T. 1276).

The bullets that killed the victims were fired from a Ruger Black Hawk .357 Magnum single action revolver and were of the same type found in Osborne’s house. (T. 1196-1200). Osborne’s mother testified that her husband's .357 Ruger was missing. (T. 1487-88).

Osborne’s fingerprints were found on the door on the driver’s side of the Grand Prix in which the victims’ bodies were found. Police were unable to locate the individuals identified by Osborne as "Jeff" and "Scott." The motel records revealed that the room in which these two individuals were allegedly staying on the day of the crime was vacant on that date. (T. 1487-1488).

News: Georgia executed a convicted murderer by lethal injection, despite an appeal by former US President Jimmy Carter that authorities commute the sentence.

Curtis Osborne was sentenced to death for the murder of a couple in Spalding County, central Georgia, in 1991, and died at 9:05 pm (0105 GMT) at a state prison in Jackson, said prisons spokeswoman Mallie McCord.

His death was due to have taken place at 7 pm (1100 GMT) but was delayed because of a final, unsuccessful appeal to the US Supreme Court.

The execution was the second in the state since the high court ended an unofficial moratorium on the death penalty in April and it followed executions in Virginia and Mississippi.

That moratorium had been in effect since last September when the court agreed to decide an appeal from two Kentucky death row inmates who argued the commonly used lethal injection method inflicted unnecessary pain and suffering.

After the Supreme Court's April ruling rejecting a challenge to the lethal three-drug cocktail, Georgia became the first to execute an inmate on May 6, followed by Mississippi on May 21.

The Death Penalty Information Center had argued that Osborne's defense lawyer at trial failed to conduct a basic investigation that could have spared Osborne's life by exposing a family history of mental illness.

"The attorney (now dead) repeatedly referred to Osborne with a racial epithet, saying, 'That little ... (epithet) deserves the chair,'" the centre said on its website. It said Carter, the former president who lives in Georgia, had argued in a public statement for the commutation of Osborne's sentence.

"Law enforcement officials and religious leaders who have come to know Curtis Osborne have noted his complete remorse for the crime and the dramatic changes in his life while on death row," it said.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, which can grant clemency, heard arguments last week about the behaviour of Osborne's original lawyer and rejected them, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Georgia has executed 42 men since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, and Osborne, born in 1970, was the 19th to die by lethal injection.

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