SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — During the second day of a double murder trial in Greene County, state witnesses are testifying to claims of prior abuse the victim suffered in the days and months before her death.
Derik Osborn is facing two counts of second-degree murder, and one count of domestic assault in the death of his pregnant girlfriend Valerie Williams at Kelly Greens Apartments in Springfield in March of 2017.
Williams was 16 weeks pregnant when she died of a traumatic brain injury. Her unborn child died shortly after.
During the first day of the bench trial, the court heard evidence of prior reports of abuse made by Williams, either to police officers or her friends.
Prosecutors say Williams had contacted police on two separate occasions, where officers took photos of injuries on her body.
On Monday, several Springfield police officers also testified to what happened on the night Williams was fatally injured.
The officers responded to the 911 call made by Osborn following an argument and altercation in their apartment.
A next-door neighbor testified he heard a loud crash into a wall the two apartments shared.
However, Osborn’s attorney argues Williams fell during a struggle between her and Osborn, denying any physical abuse took place.
On Tuesday, the court watched an hour-long video recording of Osborn’s first interview with a Springfield Police Department investigator.
In the video, Osborn claims their relationship had been strained for about a month and had reached its peak the night of the incident in question.
Osborn told the investigator Williams had come into their apartment unannounced and began arguing with Osborn.
Osborn claimed Williams was attempting to use a small can of pepper spray on him, and when he tried to take it away, she fell backward and hit her head on the floor in the living room of the apartment.
On Monday, a doctor testifying to Williams’ head injuries said her skull fracture was more consistent with what you would see following a high-speed motor vehicle accident and could not have been caused by a fall from a standing position.
The court was also shown crime scene photos of the apartment during the first day of the trial. The photos showed evidence of pepper spray droplets on the shower wall and toilet seat, as well as a keychain with the can of pepper spray laying in the bathtub.
Because this is a bench trial, Judge Calvin Holden will be deciding a verdict, not a jury.
Following a recess for lunch, the state is expected to call its final witnesses in the trial, including a relative of Williams.
On Wednesday, the court is expected to hear from witnesses called on by the defense.