Osburn pleads guilty in Casey Crowder murder

Kenneth Osburn, 54

PINE BLUFF (KATV) - It's been eight years since the body of 17 year-old Casey Crowder was discovered in a drainage ditch on the side of the road in Dumas. Wednesday, her killer plead guilty nearly two months before the case was set to go to a second trial. Casey's mother, Melinda Crowder, had heard the word guilty once before when an Ashley County jury found Kenneth Osburn guilty back in 2008. In 2009, the Arkansas Supreme Court overturned the conviction and ordered a new trial citing the confession gathered by special agents from the Arkansas State Police and FBI was gathered illegally. During the interrogation with Osburn, he had asked for a lawyer but one was never provided. Wednesday, Osburn uttered the words guilty himself, required by the judge in a plea deal that would keep him from a life sentence. "He had to say guilty, and that was one of the main things I wanted to hear," said Crowder. Osburn pled guilty to second-degree murder and kidnapping in Crowder's disappearance and subsequent death. He was sentenced to 30 years for the murder and 10 years for the kidnapping charge - both to be served consecutively. Crowder wished Osburn would have been put away for life, but mentioned him being locked up is better than nothing. "He would have just walked out in August, he would have been a free man," lamented Crowder, commenting on the possibility of Osburn winning at his second trial. "I would hate to see him do it to some other girl and any other parents and family have to go through what we have been through." What Crowder and her family has been through has been a lot. "At first I had to quit my job because I was a wreck," said Crowder. Even though now there appears to be closure in the case, Crowder regrets there still isn't and won't ever be. "I really don't think you can ever have closure," said Crowder. "You can't bring your child back, your child is always going to be gone." Unfortunate for Crowder, she will have to face Osburn once again. Osburn is eligible for parole in seven years.