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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

Second week of capital murder trial of Crispin Harmel starts Monday
 The second week of the capital murder trial of Crispin Harmel starts Monday. He has been charged in the strangulation death of Jessika Kalaher in Cedar Park on Sept. 7, 2009. A prosecutor has said Harmel followed Kalaher, 27, out of a Walmart in Cedar Park in the early morning hours and later raped and strangled her at a park before driving...

Posted: a minute ago

The second week of the capital murder trial of Crispin Harmel starts Monday. He has been charged in the strangulation death of Jessika Kalaher in Cedar Park on Sept. 7, 2009. A prosecutor has said Harmel followed Kalaher, 27, out of a Walmart in Cedar Park in the early morning hours and later raped and strangled her at a park before driving...
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: 2 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: 2 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: 3 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: 3 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...
Police: Jessika Kalaher never met Crispin Harmel on sex website
 3:15 p.m. update: Police continued to find many discrepancies in Crispin Harmel’s version of what happened with Jessika Kalaher when he met her the day she was strangled, according to a videotape of an interview that was shown in court Thursday. Harmel said he met Kalaher on a sex website before they agreed to meet at a Cedar Park Walmart...

Posted: 3 days ago

3:15 p.m. update: Police continued to find many discrepancies in Crispin Harmel’s version of what happened with Jessika Kalaher when he met her the day she was strangled, according to a videotape of an interview that was shown in court Thursday. Harmel said he met Kalaher on a sex website before they agreed to meet at a Cedar Park Walmart...
Medical examiner contradicts prosecutors on how murder victim died
 A former Travis County medical examiner contradicted a prosecutor in Crispin Harmel’s capital murder trial, testifying Wednesday that evidence doesn’t show Jessika Kalaher had been sexually assaulted or had brain damage after she was strangled in Cedar Park in 2009. In her opening statements Tuesday, prosecutor Nancy Nemer said...

Posted: 4 days ago

A former Travis County medical examiner contradicted a prosecutor in Crispin Harmel’s capital murder trial, testifying Wednesday that evidence doesn’t show Jessika Kalaher had been sexually assaulted or had brain damage after she was strangled in Cedar Park in 2009. In her opening statements Tuesday, prosecutor Nancy Nemer said...
No evidence murder victim paid to belong to sex website, police said
 3:30 p.m. update: Prosecutors continued playing a tape Wednesday afternoon of an interview police conducted with Crispin Harmel five days after Jessika Kalaher died. Harmel said on the tape that after he and Kalaher agreed to meet at a Cedar Park Walmart, he drove her car to a park where they had consensual sex in the car. Harmel said they...

Posted: 4 days ago

3:30 p.m. update: Prosecutors continued playing a tape Wednesday afternoon of an interview police conducted with Crispin Harmel five days after Jessika Kalaher died. Harmel said on the tape that after he and Kalaher agreed to meet at a Cedar Park Walmart, he drove her car to a park where they had consensual sex in the car. Harmel said they...
Witnesses: Cedar Park woman struggled for hours after being strangled
 For several hours after prosecutors say Jessika Kalaher was strangled twice, raped and left for dead in her car overnight in a Cedar Park shopping center, the assault left her so severely brain damaged that she was unable to seek help or answer her phone. A former restaurant worker testified Tuesday that after she arrived at work on the morning...

Posted: 5 days ago

For several hours after prosecutors say Jessika Kalaher was strangled twice, raped and left for dead in her car overnight in a Cedar Park shopping center, the assault left her so severely brain damaged that she was unable to seek help or answer her phone. A former restaurant worker testified Tuesday that after she arrived at work on the morning...
Witness saw homicide victim Jessica Kalaher struggling for hours
 For several hours after prosecutors say Jessika Kalaher was strangled twice, raped and left for dead in her car overnight in a Cedar Park shopping center, the assault left her so severely brain damaged that she was unable to seek help or answer her phone. A former restaurant worker testified Tuesday that after she arrived at work on the morning...

Posted: 6 days ago

For several hours after prosecutors say Jessika Kalaher was strangled twice, raped and left for dead in her car overnight in a Cedar Park shopping center, the assault left her so severely brain damaged that she was unable to seek help or answer her phone. A former restaurant worker testified Tuesday that after she arrived at work on the morning...
Man accused of lewd act at Jarrell Middle School gym
 A Jarrell man has been accused of committing a lewd act in front of a girl at the Jarrell Middle School gym, according to an arrest affidavit released this week. Guillermo Escamilla, 34, was charged with indecency with a child, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. A 13-year-old student told investigators she saw Escamilla...

Posted: 6 days ago

A Jarrell man has been accused of committing a lewd act in front of a girl at the Jarrell Middle School gym, according to an arrest affidavit released this week. Guillermo Escamilla, 34, was charged with indecency with a child, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. A 13-year-old student told investigators she saw Escamilla...