LATEST: Suspect in murder of UW-Stout student enters not guilty - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

LATEST: Suspect in murder of UW-Stout student enters not guilty plea

Updated:

Dunn County (WQOW)- The Minnesota man accused of killing Hussain Alnahdi was back in a Dunn County courtroom Thursday. Cullen Osburn entered not guilty pleas to charges of felony murder and aggravated battery.

Prior to Osburn's arraignment Thursday, his attorney, Chris Zipko, filed another motion to lower bail. That was granted by Judge Rod Smeltzer during the hearing, saying his decision was based on what came out of last week's preliminary hearing. His bond is now set at $25,000.

Osburn is facing felony murder and aggravated battery charges for the death of Hussain Alnahdi in October 2016. Witnesses told police Osburn was seen punching Alnahdi in the face. Alnahdi later died of a traumatic brain injury.

During last week's preliminary hearing, it was revealed that Alnahdi's blood alcohol content was 0.284 on the night of the alleged altercation. The defense is now arguing the witnesses are not credible and an assault never took place, raising questions about how Alnahdi sustained the fatal injuries.

Osburn will be back in the Dunn County courtroom on June 19 for what Zipko called a status hearing. Any additional motions the defense may want to file will happen at that time.

Judge Smeltzer said if Osburn does post bail, he is required to appear in court at this next hearing, and he is not allowed to consume alcohol. If he violates those conditions his bond will be revoked.

RELATED LINK: Update: Suspect charged with Alnahdi's murder had history of violence

RELATED LINK: UPDATE: Cullen Osburn creates crowd-funding page to pay legal fees

RELATED LINK: UW-Stout professor creates pins to remember Hussain Alnahdi

RELATED LINK: UW-Stout photographer's picture from Alnahdi memorial service earns award


Posted on April 20, 2017:

Dunn County (WQOW) – Cullen Osburn was back in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing. He's the Minnesota man facing a felony murder charge after the death of UW-Stout student Hussain Alnahdi

Friends and loved ones of Alnahdi filled one side of the court room; they told News 18 they were there as a sign of support because Alnahdi's family couldn't be there themselves. But, it was Osburn's friends and family that took center stage at Thursday's hearing. 

The court heard testimony from two members of the Menomonie Police Department, as well as Osburn's brother and a friend. Tensions started to rise while the District Attorney's office questioned Osburn's brother, and Dunn County Judge Rod Smeltzer was forced to intervene. 

On the stand, Osburn's brother and friend both said they were at Topper's Pizza the night of the altercation, which happened on Halloween weekend in 2016. According to the criminal complaint, Osburn was seen punching Alnahdi in the face. One day later he died of a traumatic brain injury. 

But, Osburn's attorney said Thursday's testimony paints a better picture of what his client claims actually happened that night. 

"With more of the reports that come out, it's absolutely in no possible way that my client assault Mr. Alnahdi," said defense attorney Chris Zipko after the hearing. "From everything we looked at, I don't even think there was an assault." 

One new piece of information revealed Thursday was Alnahdi's blood alcohol level at the time of the incident. Authorities said his autopsy results showed a B.A.C. of 0.284, and Osburn's lawyer believes that number makes all the difference in a cast like this. 

"Imagine you were walking down the street, you're not doing anything wrong at all, and a drunk person comes on you," Zipko said. "And then all of a sudden, you've got two people assaulting you, and your brother pulls you off. Next thing you know, you're sitting in a jail accused of murder." 

After the hearing, the District Attorney declined to comment. Osburn is set to return to court on April 27 for an arraignment hearing.

RELATED LINK: UPDATE: Cullen Osburn creates crowd-funding page to pay legal fees

RELATED LINK: UW-Stout professor creates pins to remember Hussain Alnahdi

RELATED LINK: UW-Stout photographer's picture from Alnahdi memorial service earns award


Dunn County (WQOW) – A Minnesota man, who is accused of murdering a UW-Stout student, appeared in a Dunn County courtroom on Thursday.

At Thursday's preliminary hearing for Cullen Osburn, four people gave a testimony before the court, including two Menomonie police officers, as well as Osburn's brother and his friend, who were both present during the Halloween weekend death of Hussain Alnahdi. News 18 reported in early February two witnesses told police Osburn and Alnahdi were involved in an argument that ended when Osburn punched Alnahdi twice, causing him to fall. Alnahdi died of a traumatic brain injury the next day.

In court on Thursday, tensions started to rise while the district attorney's office questioned Osburn's brother, forcing Dunn County Judge Rod Smeltzer to intervene during his testimony. After testimony ended, Judge Smeltzer ruled it was probable that Osburn committed a crime and ordered him bound over for trial.

In an interview with News 18, Osburn's attorney said no one has a clear picture of what happened between Osburn and Alnahdi that resulted in Alnahdi's death.

Osburn is scheduled for an arraignment hearing April 27.

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