Randy Lee Osborne, a Felon convicted, imprisoned and released on parole after double murders in September and November of 1976, was convicted on Tuesday for robbery less than three months after he was paroled from prison on the 1977 convictions.
Osborne was arrested on January 31st, 2013 for the robbery of the Mountain View Shell gas station earlier in the month on January 13th.
An associate of his, 51-year-old John Lambert Voisin, was arrested the same day for the robbery of the same station less than a week later.
The clerk at the Shell station on Mountain View Drive identified Osborne as the robber. The clerk told investigators that Osborne implied that he had a weapon, although the clerk never saw one. The clerk handed over $438 to Osborne before Osborne got into the passenger side of an SUV and fled the scene. The vehicle and the driver were never identified.
In the second robbery on January 18th, witnesses stated that Voisin was armed with a handgun during that robbery. The clerk’s statement and identification of Osborne led investigators to Voisin, an known associate.
Osborne was imprisoned in 1977 for double murders that took place in Fairbanks in September and November of 1976.
Fairbanks police discovered the body of John Dempe under the Wendell Street Bridge on September 7, 1976. Dempe’s skull had been smashed in with a cement block, the cement block used to kill him was found nearby.
Then 11 weeks later, on November 29th, 1976, police discovered the body of John Ieppert in Ieppert’s vehicle, which was parked in a residential district in Fairbanks. Evidence showed that Eippert had been robbed, shot, and killed the afternoon before.
The police had no leads in the case. But, on December 15th of that year, less than three weeks later, Osborne’s live-in girlfriend, Linda Kious, signed a complaint against Osborne in connection with a domestic dispute. When she was interviewed about the dispute, she related to police that Osborne had told her that he had committed the murders of Eippert and Dempe.
Osborne was brought in, questioned, and placed under arrest that same day.
On March 14th of 1977, Kious and Osborne were married in a Fairbanks courthouse just fifteen minutes before a hearing was to convene to disallow a marriage license from being issued or compelling Kious to testify. The marriage also occurred less than a week before jury selection was to take place for Osborne’s trial for the murder of Eippert. The marriage was organized by Osborne’s attorney according to prosecutors.
But, despite the defense efforts to put Kious’s testimony out of reach of the prosecutors using spousal privilege, the court invoked Criminal Rule 53 in order to compel Kious to testify against her newlywed husband. The court determined that the marriage was too much of a coincidence and was done to keep Kious from testifying.
Kious did not show up for a discovery hearing three days later on the 21st. Two days later, on the 23rd, the court began calling witnesses in the case, Kious still could not be found and a material witness warrant was issued.
On March 25th, just prior to mid-day recess, Kious showed up at the District Attorney’s office and the prosecution announced to the court that they would call on her testimony that afternoon.
When court convened that afternoon, Osborne informed the court that he wished to change his plea to guilty on both the armed robbery charge as well as the murder charge.
Four days later court convened on the second murder charge. At the end of that trial the jury returned a verdict of guilty on charges of Attempted Robbery and Murder I.
Osborne would later appeal on the grounds that the court never proved that his marriage to Kious was a sham and so his marriage was valid, making Kious’s testimony invalid. The court disagreed and Osborne’s sentence of two consecutive life terms was upheld.
Osborne would serve 35 and a half years of his prison term before being released on parole on October 20th, 2012. Less than three months later, Osborne robbed the gas station in Mountain View.
Osborne faces at least 15 to 20 years for the gas station robbery and can possibly receive up to 99 years.
Osborne is scheduled to be sentenced in early October.