A judge has ruled that a convicted sex offender from Oregon will stand trial nearly six years after the man was charged with two counts of second degree murder in Taney County.
Judge John Moody has scheduled 41 year-old Jason Osborn's trial to begin on January 20, 2009 in Wright County.
Prosecutors say that Osborn allegedly let four teenage boys from Rockaway Beach take turns driving his girlfriends car near Walnut Shade in August of 2003.
According to investigators, one of the boys yanked on the steering wheel causing it swerve, plow into a tree and burst into flames. Witnesses say that Osborn ran from the crash, leaving the boys to fend for themselves.
Killed in the fiery crash were Dustin Riesman and Joshua Sparling who were both 14.
Osborn, is also charged with two counts of child endangerment and two counts of enticement of a child. He was ordered to undergo a mental examination in 2006, which he refused. In 2007, after working off and on as his own attorney in the case, Osborn agreed to undergo the exam, and was declared incompetent to stand trial. He was ordered to Fulton State Hospital.
According to Taney County prosecutor, Jeff Merrell, the trial date is questionable,"we are going to have to have an evidentiary hearing to make sure that Mr. Osborn is competent to stand trial before we can proceed to trial." He added, "I don't see that happening before next winter.....I don't understand how it has been put on the trial docket."
The trial has been moved to Wright County on a change of venue.
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