Columbus man claims intruder killed girlfriend

Vashon Walker. Source: Columbus Police Department.
Vashon Walker. Source: Columbus Police Department.

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A man accused of killing his girlfriend pleaded not guilty in Recorder's Court Saturday morning.

23-year-old Vashon Walker told police an intruder entered their home on Forrest Road on June 17, 2014.

Walker told officers he fought the gunman while the intruder opened fire inside the house. A bullet hit 28-year-old Jessica Osborne in the left side of the head, killing her.

Police also said Walker was waiting outside on the front porch of the house covered in blood, and told police an intruder had struck him in the head. However, police say they also did not find any wounds or injuries on Walker.

Police also said Walker's stories did not match witnesses' testimonies. Witnesses told police they didn't see another person come out of the house. Instead, neighbors saw the couple arguing on the front yard few minutes before they heard a gunshot fire.

Police arrived at the scene at 7:18 p.m Tuesday after they received a call about a home invasion. However, they found Osborne suffering from a gunshot wound in the living room.

At the court hearing, detectives explained they found a text message Osborne sent to her family in May 2014 about wanting to move back to Mississippi because she was afraid of Walker. Family also told police that Osborne had received scratches and bruises on her face from Walker in the past.

Osborne's cousin, Quieonna Mitchell was at court Saturday morning. She told News Leader 9 she started noticing signs of trouble just few weeks before Osborne's tragic death.

"As we found out the two were dating, we began to hear bad things about him," Mitchell said. "I felt like something was going on with Jessica because she started to withdraw from the family. That's usually a sign of abuse. She kept avoiding us and told us that she was busy."

Mitchell said he grew up with Osborne as a child, and she helped Osborne move to Columbus from Mississippi few years ago.

"It's really hard," Mitchell said. "You have to actually lose a loved one to know how this feels. It's hard."

Walker also has an extensive history of crime, like family violence, kidnapping and violence toward women. Walker is in the Muscogee County Jail on his murder charge without bond, and his case will be carried over to superior court.

"All I could think about was her children," Mitchell said. "Her three daughters are in Mississippi now, and our family is taking care of them while preparing Jessica's funeral. We are going to fight for Jessica until justice is served. No one should lose their life to loved ones like she did. If you are a victim of violence, please speak out. Go for help. Don't try to handle the situation by yourself."

The coroner said Osborne's death is the 12th homicide in Columbus this year, and third death caused by domestic violence in 2014.

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