Osburn defense: 'There wasn't an assault' in UW-Stout student death

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MENOMONIE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The defense for the man accused of killing a UW-Stout international student says they don't even believe there was an assault.

Cullen Osburn, 27, made the court appearance Thursday in Dunn County court.

Osburn is charged with felony murder and aggravated battery in the death of Hussain Saeed Alnahdi.

Investigators say Alnahdi, a 24-year-old international student from Saudi Arabia, died from a brain injury following a fight in downtown Menomonie last October.

Judge Rod Smeltzer found probable cause that Osburn committed felony murder and aggravated battery after hearing witness statements in court.

“There is probable cause that felonies have been committed and that they've been committed by Mr. Osburn,” said Smeltzer.

Lead investigator on the case Kelly Pollock says a female witness told police she saw Osburn hit Alnahdi more than once.

Pollock said, “She said she believed he tried to hit him a second time.”

Following the alleged fight near Topper’s Pizza Pollock says a forensic pathologist determined Alnahdi died of a traumatic brain injury.

“He said it would have required a great deal of force similar to an automobile accident or a fall from a higher story building,” said Alnahdi.

Osburn's brother Deonte Hughes says he was in Topper’s Pizza when he saw the fight start through a window.

Hughes explained, “I turn and look and I see him outside and I seen him being grabbed.”

However, Hughes claims he never saw Osburn hit Alnahdi.

“I didn't actually see him make contact with Alnahdi but I did seen his arms swing,” added Hughes.

Although the Menomonie Police Department says Osburn's sister told officers she spoke with him on the phone after the incident and Osburn said he may have made contact with Alnahdi.

“She stated that Cullen said that Alnahadi had grabbed his necklace and possibly pushed Alnahdi,” said Officer Dan Westlund.

Osburn’s defense says the state assumes Osburn punched Alnahdi but attorney Christopher Zipko doesn't believe that's the case.

“From everything we've looked at I don't even think there's an assault,” said Zipko.

Zipko says at this point he believes Osburn shouldn't be accused of any wrong doing.

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

WEAU reached out to the state district attorney but they declined further comment

Osburn is scheduled to be back in court next Thursday.


NEW INFORMATION: Man charged in death of UW-Stout student bound over for trial

The man accused of killing an international student at UW-Stout is bound over for trial.

Cullen Osburn, 27, appeared in Dunn County Court Thursday morning. Hussain Saeed Alnahdi, a 24-year-old international student from Saudi Arabia, died from a brain injury following a fight in downtown Menomonie last October.

Osburn is charged with felony murder and aggravated battery. He’s scheduled to be back in court next Thursday.