Claire Osborn

Williamson County reporter

Claire Osborn writes about Williamson County for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the American-Statesman since 1989 covering the police beat in Austin, the district and federal courts in Travis County and writing various features about the city. She has also been on an episode of the Forensic Files television show, which featured a local murder case. She spends a lot of time on Austin's Hike and Bike Trail walking her very funny dog who declines to comment on anything she's written.

Latest from Claire Osborn

Is new wastewater treatment plant to blame for algae in river?
 The South San Gabriel River was so clear as it flowed past Frank and LaWann Tull’s house on Waterford Lane in Georgetown that they held baptisms for their church in April 2016 and April 2017. But this year they couldn’t. Around the beginning of April, t
               
            he river became blanketed with thick coats of...

Posted: 18 hours ago

The South San Gabriel River was so clear as it flowed past Frank and LaWann Tull’s house on Waterford Lane in Georgetown that they held baptisms for their church in April 2016 and April 2017. But this year they couldn’t. Around the beginning of April, t he river became blanketed with thick coats of...
Crispin Harmel gets life sentence for killing Jessika Kalaher in 2009
 Relatives of Jessika Kalaher calmly admonished Crispin Harmel after he was sentenced Tuesday night to life in prison for her strangulation death in Cedar Park in 2009. “You have a chance to still breathe,” Kalaher’s father, Richard Kalaher, told Harmel. “You are lucky, because I wanted the death penalty because my...

Posted: 2 days ago

Relatives of Jessika Kalaher calmly admonished Crispin Harmel after he was sentenced Tuesday night to life in prison for her strangulation death in Cedar Park in 2009. “You have a chance to still breathe,” Kalaher’s father, Richard Kalaher, told Harmel. “You are lucky, because I wanted the death penalty because my...
Jury deliberating in Crispin Harmel’s capital murder trial
 A jury began deliberating in the capital murder case of Crispin Harmel on Tuesday afternoon after more than two hours of closing arguments by prosecutors and defense attorneys. Prosecutor Julie Stone told jurors that Harmel was an “opportunistic monster” and said the defense’s story was ridiculous. She said the strangulation...

Posted: 3 days ago

A jury began deliberating in the capital murder case of Crispin Harmel on Tuesday afternoon after more than two hours of closing arguments by prosecutors and defense attorneys. Prosecutor Julie Stone told jurors that Harmel was an “opportunistic monster” and said the defense’s story was ridiculous. She said the strangulation...
13 arrested in prostitution sting that began at Georgetown massage parlor
 3:45 p.m. update: GEORGETOWN -- A seven-month investigation ended in the arrest of 13 people for alleged prostitution and human trafficking. The investigation began after the Georgetown Police Department and Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office received a complaint about illegal activity at a massage parlor Shanghai Spa, at 1915 S....

Posted: 4 days ago

3:45 p.m. update: GEORGETOWN -- A seven-month investigation ended in the arrest of 13 people for alleged prostitution and human trafficking. The investigation began after the Georgetown Police Department and Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office received a complaint about illegal activity at a massage parlor Shanghai Spa, at 1915 S....
Crispin Harmel receives life in prison without parole
 9:45 p.m. update: Judge Rick Kennon has announced that Crispin Harmel had received life in prison without the possiblity of parole after a jury found him guilty of capital murder in the 2009 death of Jessika Kalaher. Kalaher’s father, cousin and stepsister addressed Harmel in the courtroom during the victim impact statement portion...

Posted: 4 days ago

9:45 p.m. update: Judge Rick Kennon has announced that Crispin Harmel had received life in prison without the possiblity of parole after a jury found him guilty of capital murder in the 2009 death of Jessika Kalaher. Kalaher’s father, cousin and stepsister addressed Harmel in the courtroom during the victim impact statement portion...
Witnesses contradict what Crispin Harmel told police in 2009 slaying
 Prosecutors wrapped up their capital murder case against Crispin Harmel on Monday by presenting three witnesses who contradicted what Harmel told police during the investigation of the 2009 strangulation death of Jessika Kalaher. Harmel told police then that he could not give them the shirt he had worn when he was with Kalaher because it...

Posted: 4 days ago

Prosecutors wrapped up their capital murder case against Crispin Harmel on Monday by presenting three witnesses who contradicted what Harmel told police during the investigation of the 2009 strangulation death of Jessika Kalaher. Harmel told police then that he could not give them the shirt he had worn when he was with Kalaher because it...
Detective: No online, phone connection found between Harmel, Kalaher
 3:30 p.m. update: Prosecutors on Tuesday afternoon finished presenting their witnesses in the Crispin Harmel capital murder case. The trial will resume Tuesday morning when the defense will be able to call witnesses. The prosecution’s final witness, Round Rock police Detective Feliciano Acevedo, testified Monday afternoon that when...

Posted: 5 days ago

3:30 p.m. update: Prosecutors on Tuesday afternoon finished presenting their witnesses in the Crispin Harmel capital murder case. The trial will resume Tuesday morning when the defense will be able to call witnesses. The prosecution’s final witness, Round Rock police Detective Feliciano Acevedo, testified Monday afternoon that when...
Harmel attorney challenges police investigation in capital murder case
 The quality of the police investigation into the 2009 strangulation death of Jessika Kalaher in Cedar Park was the focus of the fourth day of testimony Friday in the capital murder trial for Crispin Harmel. Under cross-examination from defense attorney Scott Magee, Cedar Park police Detective Larry Bond testified that investigator never requested...

Posted: 7 days ago

The quality of the police investigation into the 2009 strangulation death of Jessika Kalaher in Cedar Park was the focus of the fourth day of testimony Friday in the capital murder trial for Crispin Harmel. Under cross-examination from defense attorney Scott Magee, Cedar Park police Detective Larry Bond testified that investigator never requested...
Forensic scientist: No DNA found linking Harmel to Kalaher’s death
 3:30 p.m. update: A forensic scientist testified Friday that no DNA was ever found that linked Crispin Harmel to the death of Jessika Kalaher. Robert Meade, a forensic scientist with the Texas Department of Public Safety, said he tested about 20 items for DNA. He said he was not surprised that no DNA linking Harmel to the crime was found...

Posted: 8 days ago

3:30 p.m. update: A forensic scientist testified Friday that no DNA was ever found that linked Crispin Harmel to the death of Jessika Kalaher. Robert Meade, a forensic scientist with the Texas Department of Public Safety, said he tested about 20 items for DNA. He said he was not surprised that no DNA linking Harmel to the crime was found...
Police: Man on trial for murder had multiple contradictions in story
 Days after Jessika Kalaher was killed, Crispin Harmel told police he had gone to a Walmart in Cedar Park to meet her the day she died. But as detectives interviewed him a few weeks later, the discrepancies in his version of events started to mount, according to a videotape shown during the third day of Harmel’s capital murder trial...

Posted: 8 days ago

Days after Jessika Kalaher was killed, Crispin Harmel told police he had gone to a Walmart in Cedar Park to meet her the day she died. But as detectives interviewed him a few weeks later, the discrepancies in his version of events started to mount, according to a videotape shown during the third day of Harmel’s capital murder trial...
Criminal investigation ensues after 5-month-old baby dies at Williamson County daycare
 12:30 p.m. update: The Williamson County sheriff’s office is conducting a criminal investigation to determine what caused a 5-month-old baby to die at an in-home day care Thursday morning.  Deputies were sent to the daycare in the 7900 block of Truman Cove at 8:34 a.m. Thursday after receiving a call about an unresponsive...

Posted: 9 days ago

12:30 p.m. update: The Williamson County sheriff’s office is conducting a criminal investigation to determine what caused a 5-month-old baby to die at an in-home day care Thursday morning.  Deputies were sent to the daycare in the 7900 block of Truman Cove at 8:34 a.m. Thursday after receiving a call about an unresponsive...