6 suspects in court for alleged torture, murder of Fairfield man

By From page A3 | January 12, 2012

FAIRFIELD — A probable cause hearing started Wednesday for six Fairfield residents facing murder or torture charges for the May 13, 2010, killing of 27-year-old Keith E. Osby Jr.

Damarcus V. Armstrong, 20, Frank P. Bigoski, 28, Janiel D. Miller, 41, Tina M. Odom, 19, Khalil I. Askari-Roberts, 32, and  Jennifer E. Whittington, 19, each sat alongside their attorneys in a courtroom that also had a half-dozen bailiffs watching over the group.

Employees of the Springbrook Masonic Temple on Temple Way in Vallejo found Osby’s body in some bushes in the temple’s parking lot. He had been shot once in the back of the head.

When police interviewed Armstrong several days after the killing, he initially denied knowing anything about the murder, but he later described what happened to Osby on the night of his death, according to police. Armstrong insisted he didn’t shoot Osby, telling police “murder was not his forte.”

The six defendants are accused of beating Osby in the converted garage of a San Andreas Street home in Fairfield on the night of May 12, 2010.

Police testimony at the hearing revealed the possible motive for the attack. Armstrong told detectives some of the defendants suspected Osby stole a laptop computer and a PlayStation from the home. They had Osby go into the converted garage and Odom punched him first, striking him in the face. The other five suspects joined in the attack on Osby, which culminated with Bigoski getting a baseball bat and hitting Osby on the shoulder, police said.

With Osby down on the floor, some of the defendants bound up Osby’s arms with tape before Odom said “get rid of him,” police said. Armstrong went to his workplace and got a van into which Osby was carried and dumped in the back before the van was driven from the home, police said.

Osby’s girlfriend told police he had gone to the San Andreas Street home to pick up a woman named Jennifer with whom he was going to commit a robbery, police said. Defendant Jennifer Whittington told a detective that Osby came over to the San Andreas Street home to pick her up and go with her to Fresno, where he was going to pimp her out.

Testimony in the hearing is set to resume Thursday morning in the courtroom of Judge Wendy G. Getty.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or at [email protected]

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

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