Prosecution begins in 2011 beating homicide trial

By From page A3 | February 16, 2013

FAIRFIELD — The prosecution began presenting its case in the murder trial for a Fairfield mother accused of orchestrating the beating of a man and killing him as payback for stealing from her San Andreas home in 2011.

“Keith Osby died over a PlayStation,” deputy district attorney Julie Underwood told jurors Friday morning in her opening statement.

Underwood went on to outline her belief that Ryan S. Odom, 43, believed Osby had taken the game console and a laptop computer from Odom’s home several weeks before Osby was invited over to the home on a ruse.

Odom is the first of seven defendants to face trial for Osby’s death.

Osby, who had previously dated Odom’s daughter, was greeted at the home on the afternoon of May 12, 2011, by Odom and six people she knew. Osby was beaten, stomped, kicked and struck with a baseball bat before he was bound up, gagged and blindfolded with duct tape, Underwood said.

Underwood said witnesses would describe Odom as the planner of the beating and the person who hit and kicked Osby more than any other of the attackers. Odom also allegedly told her three children to lie to authorities if they were questioned about the assault.

Underwood said Odom told one of the attackers to “take care of him” before Osby was loaded into a borrowed cab and taken to Vallejo later in the night, where he was shot in the back of the head and his body was dumped in a parking lot. His body was discovered the next morning.

Odom’s defense attorney, Leslie Prince, painted a very different set of circumstances surrounding Osby’s murder.

Prince said there was no plan or conspiracy to attack or kill Osby.

Osby “did some stupid things,” Prince told jurors, adding that the events leading up to Osby’s death were “just a situation that got out of control.”

Prince conceded that Odom had told somebody to “take care of him,” but explained to jurors that Odom just wanted the battered victim removed from her home.

Underwood is expected to continue her case against Odom when the trial resumes Wednesday.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

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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