A motion for a new trial hearing for Sheridan resident and convicted murderer Shawn Osborne was held Friday in 4th Judicial District Court. Not long after being found guilty in November of 2010 for the 1st Degree Murder of 42-year-old Gerald Bloom, Osborne hired Attorney Keith Goody from Washington State to represent him. Shortly after being obtained by Osborne, Goody filed a motion for a new trial, citing ineffective assistance of counsel by Osborne's trial lawyer Robert Jones, who is a Public Defender. Goody also filed a motion to eliminate life without parole as a sentencing option.
Goody's first witness Friday was Dr. Craig Beaver, who's a Neuropsychologist from Boise, Idaho. Dr. Beaver testified that neuropsychological tests on Osborne that took place in February indicated that Osborne had trouble processing new information and also had issues with his memory, which he said is directly attributed to his chronic alcohol and drug abuse.
He also said that Osborne had been abusing large amounts of the prescription drug Adderall daily at work in the months leading up to the crime and that he frequently used methamphetimine as well. Dr. Beaver stated that Osborne's chronic alcohol abuse coupled with his use of drugs severely affected his brain function and that at the time of the crime Osborne was in a drug and alcohol induced delirium that did not allow him to form intent.
During cross examination, Prosecuting Attorney for the State Matt Redle asked Dr. Beaver if he had obtained most of the details about the murder from his conversations with the defendant, which Beaver replied by saying yes. Redle then pointed out that this was the same defendant that Dr. Beaver testified to having an issue with memory just a few moments prior to being cross examined.
Goody also called Robert Jones to the stand, Jones was Osborne's Defense Attorney during the trial. Goody questioned Jones about the two evaluations that were done at the State Hospital prior to the trial and why he didn't hire an independent expert to examine Osborne instead of sending him to the State Hospital. Jones replied that as a public defender, that is what is typically done with clients that are facing such serious charges.
Goody's basis for the motion for a new trial centers around the fact that an independent psychiatrist or neuropsychologist was not brought in to examine the defendant. Neither of the evaluations performed by the State Hospital focused on specific intent or substance abuse delirium, two factors that Goody felt should have been addressed more thoroughly during the trial.
In closing arguments, Goody reiterated that Osborne did not receive proper representation at the trial pointing out how little Jones knew about Osborne's drug history. Goody also said that it was apparent that Jones did not fully understand the effects that Adderall had on the defendant, especially considering his propensity to drink extreme amounts of alcohol while taking the drug.
District Court Judge John Fenn said as bizarre as this case is, the defendant's actions after the crime that included wrapping the body up in a sleeping bag and hiding it under the trailer clearly show that he had some understanding of what was going on and what he was doing. Goody finished by saying that his client should be allowed his day in court with competent representation.
No decision was made on the motion for a new trial, as Goody requested a copy of the transcript before submitting a formal closing argument in writing to the Court. Once the transcript of the hearing is available, a response by one of the parties must be made within 10 days. Then the other party will have 10 days to submit a rebuttal. Judge Fenn will also review the transcript and take both parties arguments into consideration before making a ruling on the motion for a new trial.