Shelby man gets death penalty for capital murders
By EMILY ETHEREDGE / Special to the Reporter
Chilton County Circuit Judge Sibley Reynolds sentenced James Osgood to death on two capital murder convictions Friday morning.
Reynolds sentenced Osgood, 44, of Shelby, shortly after 10:30 a.m.
Osgood stood before Reynolds wearing a pink jail jumpsuit with chains around his wrists and ankles showing no emotion as Reynolds announced he would be sentenced to death by lethal injection.
“Mr. Osgood, this sentence is not given lightly,” Reynolds said. “I can’t think of a darker set of facts than what you have given us.”
In May, a Chilton County jury heard the gruesome and graphic facts detailing the way Osgood and Tonya Vandyke, 43, attacked Tracy Brown, 44, on Oct. 13, 2010, in her bedroom.
Both Osgood and Vandyke forced Brown at gunpoint to perform sexual acts with both of them before Osgood slashed Brown’s neck several times with a knife or knife-like object and later in the back twice before she died on the bedroom floor of her trailer off County Road 24.
Vandyke, a co-defendant in the case, was Osgood’s girlfriend and Brown’s first cousin.
She faces two counts of capital murder but is being tried separately from Osgood.
Her trial will begin in December.
Vandyke, dressed in a dark green jail jumpsuit with chains around her wrists and ankles, was present in court Friday as Osgood was sentenced.
Chief Deputy District Attorney for the 19th Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office C.J. Robinson reminded the court prior to the sentencing that Osgood planned to kill Brown.
“He fantasized about doing it,” Robinson said. “He raped her, he sodomized her and he taunted her and then cut her throat multiple times after stabbing her twice in the lungs because she wasn’t dying fast enough.”
Robinson said the death penalty has no place in Alabama unless it is imposed for crimes like the crime conducted by Osgood.
“The state asks the court to impose the death penalty,” Robinson said.
Jackie Wileman, Brown’s stepmother, addressed the court standing inches away from Osgood.
“I was here for the entire trial,” Wileman said. “Osgood has showed no emotion at all. I have seen autopsy pictures, and they are horrible. I can’t imagine anyone doing that to someone, even their worst enemy. For our family, we had Tracy cremated, buried and she has a tombstone. We have mourned, we have been silent and she is gone. We can’t bring her back. We now only have the memories of her to carry with us.”
Wileman said she was unable to understand how Osgood could not show “one bit of remorse.”
“I don’t understand,” she said. “I don’t know what kind of mind has that kind of thinking. Where is your mind? Where is your humanity? I believe in God and I am a Christian and I think about Osgood’s sister. For her, I really feel something because it will be horrible for her. That is her brother, but he has done such a horrible thing. I hope I never have to see Osgood again.”
Chilton County jurors recommended a death sentence May 12 in the penalty portion of Osgood’s capital murder trial.
The 12-member jury had the choice to recommend a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole or a death sentence.
After deliberating for more than 30 minutes in May, the jury returned a vote of 12-0 in favor of the death sentence.
Reynolds had the option to accept the recommendation or override it.
The two counts of capital murder involved murder in the commission of rape in the first degree and murder in commission of sodomy in the first degree.
The prosecution showed jurors a key piece of evidence during the trial involving a taped confession from Osgood to two investigators with the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department where Osgood described in detail the graphic accounts leading up to the murder.
Osgood often used vulgar language to describe the acts performed on Brown.
In the video, Osgood said he told Brown after cutting her that he was “sorry” and it was “nothing against her” but she needed to “quit fighting and go.”
Osgood also told the investigators, who interviewed him at the Chilton County Jail, that he first got the idea to kill someone from watching an episode of CSI on television.
Osgood’s older sister, Ann Marie Osgood, was present in the courtroom as Reynolds sentenced her brother.
Ann Marie Osgood testified during the trial about her brother who she called “Jimmy” and told jurors she still “loved him very much.”
Ann Marie spoke to the jury regarding Osgood’s childhood, which involved neglect and abuse from an early age.
The only time Osgood showed emotion during the trial, wiping tears from his eyes several times, was during his sister’s testimony about their childhood.
After the sentencing, District Attorney Randall Houston said this is only the fourth time his office has sought the death penalty.
Houston has been in the DA’s office since 2001.
“We believe that this case justified the death sentence, and we think justice has been served,” Houston said.