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State focuses on previous dispute in trial of Springfield man accused of murdering girlfriend, unborn child

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 11:25 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The state called new witnesses Tuesday in the trial for a Springfield man accused of killing his girlfriend and her unborn child.

Derik Osborn faces two second-degree murder charges in the death of Valerie Williams in 2017.

The prosecution played Derik Osborn’s recorded interview with Springfield Police after Williams was taken to the hospital in critical condition. In that interview, Osborn tells the detective he and Williams had recently broke up, following a fight in Branson. Police responded to the argument where Williams was treated in the emergency room for injuries. In the video, he indicated the fight in Branson three weeks before Williams’ death was because of her jealousy over him talking to a female coworker. He claimed she took a knife to his car and then came toward him with it and says when he took it away she fell and hit her head on a rail. An emergency room physician’s assistant testified Williams said Osborn pushed or tripped her.

The state also presented evidence about a domestic violence report Williams made against Osborn in October 2016 at Springfield Police Department.

A friend of Williams as well as the father of her son also took the stand, testifying about their interactions with her following the Branson fight. A friend who picked her up from the emergency room said Valerie was “shaking and crying”. One noted Williams said she thought she was going to be killed.

In Osborn’s recorded interview with a Springfield detective, he talked about what happened the night of the incident at his apartment. In the video, he told the detective they were both going nuts, because she broke into his apartment, and he admittedly pushed her out of his car.

“I turn to go in the living room,” Osborn said. “She’s yelling and screaming at me. I start yelling and screaming at her. She pulls out her keys with her pepper spray on it to zing me with it. I go to grab it to take it away. She jerks, and when she jerks, she fell and she hit the floor and her head just like bounced. Like it’s concrete down there. I live on the ground floor. Head like hit the floor.”

Both a trauma surgeon and a medical examiner who looked at Valerie’s injuries at the ER and after her death testified that her skull fracture and lacerated liver were not be consistent with a fall from standing position, as Osborn claimed, but perhaps a fall from a significant height or a car crash. The defense questioned whether the liver injuries could have been caused by Osborn incorrectly doing CPR. Both disagreed, but the medical examiner said it may be possible with incorrect technique and a lot of force.

Osborn also told the detective that he had been drinking, but Valerie was not a drinker. He said her vice was pills and other drugs. Lab tests did show meth and methadone, which is prescribed to those trying to stop another drug, in Valerie’s system when she died. But medical experts say it was a low level and the meth did not contribute to her death.

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