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PAXTON - Jury selection is to begin Feb. 21 in Ford County Circuit Court in the first-degree murder trial of Robert T. Osborne.

Osborne, 28, of Gibson City, is charged with the death of his wife, Danyelle Osborne, 26.

Police found her burned, battered body Oct. 31 beneath a bridge in rural Gibson City.

Both the defense and prosecution told Ford County Circuit Judge Steve Pacey at a pretrial hearing Tuesday morning they were ready to proceed to trial.

Pacey also scheduled a Feb. 14 hearing to hear pretrial motions and to consider exhibits.

Osborne remains in the Ford County jail in lieu of $500,000.

The state contends Osborne struck his wife several times, dumped her beneath a bridge southeast of Gibson City and attempted to burn her body.

An autopsy performed by Dr. Bryan Mitchell indicated she had suffered multiple blunt force traumas, including six blows to the face and neck.

"A great deal of force was involved," Ford County Coroner Doug Wallace said.

Mitchell also found fractures of areas of the nose and face, hemorrhage of the deep soft tissues of the right neck, laceration of the spleen and left lobe of the liver and hemorrhage of the stomach area.

Gibson City police officer David Nelson testified at a hearing last fall that investigators discovered Danyelle Osborne's body in a state of undress and charred. He said it appeared she had been sexually molested.

Ford County State's Attorney Tony Lee said Pacey admonished people attending Tuesday's hearing that he would not tolerate any outbursts during the trial.

Lee said members of Danyelle Osborne's family and possibly others had directed comments at Osborne at an earlier hearing.

Pacey also told them not to wear T-shirts and sweatshirts bearing a likeness of Danyelle Osborne's face at future court proceedings.

About a dozen people were present to support Robert Osborne, and about 10 were on hand from Danyelle Osborne's side, Lee said.


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