SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Late last week, an attorney representing Derik Osborn filed an intent to appeal a guilty verdict in the 2017 murder of his pregnant girlfriend, Valerie Williams.
Osborn was found guilty by a Greene County judge in July this year and was sentenced to life in October.
Osborn was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder and second-degree domestic assault. Williams was 16 weeks pregnant at the time. Court records showed Williams died of head trauma after an incident inside their apartment.
Court records say Osborn told police he and Williams got into an argument. Osborn said Williams tried to pepper spray him. He said he tried to take the pepper spray out of her hand, and Williams proceeded to fall.
On the night of the incident, the neighbor told the court he heard the couple arguing, followed by a loud crash into a wall the two apartments share. He testified the crash was large enough to move items in his unit and sounded like someone had been thrown up against the shared wall.
Five other witnesses also took the stand, all Springfield police officers or detectives who responded to the scene or conducted investigations following the incident. Police say the original 911 call was placed by Osborn and was listed as a possible drug overdose. The officers described Osborn as being in shock following Williams being taken to the hospital, and calm, unemotional, and evasive of specific questions officers asked him.
Evidence photos shown to the court depicted an apartment filled with unpacked boxes. Additional photos showed the couple’s bathroom, where a key chain with a small can of mace was laying in the bathtub, and droplets of what officers say was mace sprayed on the shower walls and toilet seat.
Based on early discussions in the trial, the defense is expected to claim Osborn and Williams were in an argument, when she fell in some way.
Additional photos taken by detectives showed photos of Williams while being treated at the hospital. The photos show abrasions on Williams’ neck, back, and knees.