Jury finds Cullen Osburn guilty of battery, acquitted of murder - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Jury finds Cullen Osburn guilty of battery, acquitted of murder

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Dunn County (WQOW) -- The jury in a Dunn County murder case reached a verdict Tuesday night in the Cullen Osburn murder case.

The jury returned a guilty verdict for a count of aggravated battery, but he was acquitted of the felony murder charge in the death of UW-Stout international student Hussain Alnahdi.

Witnesses described the event to jurors throughout the trial, leading up to closing arguments Tuesday. In those arguments, prosecutors painted Osburn as an angry and violent man who went looking for a fight during that Halloween weekend. The victim's costume hung as evidence in the courtroom, but the defense painted a different picture saying Alnahdi was intoxicated and did not receive the necessary medical care that could have kept him alive.

As the verdict was being read, Osburn could be heard calling for a re-trial. Osburn's attorney maintains that his client never struck Hussain Alnahdi.

"We're still disappointed that the jury still thought Mr. Osburn is responsible because he maintains that Mr. Alnahdi and Mr. Walters came on him and he was simply trying to get away. To be honest, I think part of the background -- if it was a different person, with a different pedigree walking down that street, we might not have had that charge," said defense attorney Christopher Zipko.

Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf said the aggravated battery conviction could carry a sentence of eight years in prison, because Osburn is a repeat offender.

"The state certainly believes that there was a felony murder in this case. We're at least somewhat pleased that there was at least a conviction on at least one of the counts of aggravated battery. I really don't think there's anything the state or police could have done. We had an eyewitness statement, we had the defendant's confession," said Nodolf. "Certainly, at least, there is some justice for Hussain. But certainly -- there is nothing that can bring him back."

Osburn will be sentenced in Dunn County on July 13.



UPDATE (Day 5) - A Dunn County jury heard closing arguments Tuesday morning in the murder trial of Cullen Osburn.  They are now deliberating a verdict.

Osburn is on trial for felony murder and aggravated battery. He's accused of punching a UW-Stout international student, Hussain Alnahdi, outside a Menomonie pizza place on Halloween weekend 2016.

Monday, the defense rested. Osburn did not take the stand.


UPDATE (Day 4) - Cullen Osburn, the man on trial for the death of Hussain Alnahdi, was back in court Friday. The prosecution continued to call witnesses in its case against Osburn, but the defense had the chance to call a witness of its own -- Osburn's brother. 

"What did you see next, after separating the two," the defense asked Osburn's brother. 
"I seen Alnahdi laying on the ground," he said. 

While on the stand, Deante Hughes recalled the night of October 29, 2016. That was the night Osburn and UW-Stout International student Hussain Alnahdi allegedly got into a fist fight outside of Toppers pizza in Menomonie. 

"You look outside, and you see," the defense asked. 
"Alnahdi grabbing Cullen by the collar," Hughes said. 
"And at that time you did not know who he was," the defense continued. 

"No I didn't know any of them," Hughes replied. "That's why I was stunned, like, why's this guy grabbing him?"

The prosecution called several witnesses Friday. Including two law enforcement officers who have been investigating the case since the beginning. They also called two people to testify to Osburn's behavior while he was behind bars, specifically another fight he had gotten into. 

"Osburn had his arm around Mr. Welch's neck," said Michael Owens, a member of the Dunn County Sheriff's Office. "We took him out of the block and he was highly agitated -- "

"And what did he say to you? When he was highly agitated," the prosecution asked. 

"He said 'I told officers that it wasn't a good idea to put me in that block,' referring to the cell dorm," Owens said. 

Witnesses said that jail fight happened just days after Osburn was moved to the new, minimum security, block, which typically happens when an inmate has good behavior. 

The trial is slated to continue through most of the next week. On Friday, the defense would not say either way if Osburn would testify on his own behalf. 



UPDATE (Day 3) - Day three of the Cullen Osburn trial is complete.

Osburn is on trial for felony murder and aggravated battery. He's accused of punching Hussain Alnahdi outside a Menomonie pizza place on Halloween weekend 2016.

According to court records, an expert witness in neuroscience from California testified via video conference.

Between the state and defense, 55 potential witnesses could take the stand, including Osburn. 

The state expects to wrap up its questioning Friday. The defense will then have a turn to make its case. 

Day four of the trial could end early, given the expected inclimate weather. 
 


UPDATE (Day 2) - Day two of the Cullen Osburn trial is in the books.

Osburn is on trial for felony murder and aggravated battery. He's accused of punching Hussain Alnahdi outside a Menomonie pizza place on Halloween weekend 2016. Witnesses told police the two were seen fighting. He would later die of traumatic brain injury.

According to court records, the state called on Dr. Angela Apple, with Mayo Clinic, to detail her examination of Alnahdi when he was first brought to the hospital.

The coroner also took the stand to go over the autopsy results.

The trial is expected to last six more days.

Between the state and defense, 55 potential witnesses could take the stand, including Osburn. 
 


Menomonie (WQOW) - The trial got underway Tuesday for the Minnesota man charged with killing an international UW-Stout student in Menomonie.

Cullen Osburn is on trial for felony murder and aggravated battery. He's accused of punching Hussain Alnahdi outside a Menomonie pizza place on Halloween weekend 2016.

In opening arguments, Dunn County District Attorney, Andrea Nodolf, told jurors Cullen Osburn was looking to party, and looking to fight that night.

"He was angry, because earlier in the day, his girlfriend Sierra, who was vacationing in Florida, refused to take his call," Nodolf said. "He specifically told her if you don't answer my call, I'm going to go beat someone up. Unfortunately for the victim, Hussain Alnahdi in this case, that is exactly what happened." 

Nodolf said Osburn fled the scene, and badgered someone at a nearby gas station to give him a ride to a motel, telling him, "I just punched someone, he's bleeding out, and if you don't give me a ride, I'll punch you out too."

Osburn's lawyer, Christopher Zipko, painted a very different picture for jurors, pointing out that Alnahdi was over three times the legal alcohol limit for driving. 

"He did not hit him, he did not provoke him, he did not do anything other than act in self defense in trying to get away when two people, who were drunk, came upon him," Zipko said.                                                                                                                            

Zipko also said Alnahdi was so intoxicated he was seen falling down earlier that night. The defense attorney said he simply fell again, this time causing his fatal head injury. He said the forensics shows there's no physical proof that Alnahdi was in a fight 

The jury, chosen Tuesday morning, includes a retired Menomonie police officer, and a firefighter/paramedic.

The trial is expected to last eight days. 

Related Story: Final Pre-trial
Related Story: Osburn enters plea

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