Skip to comments.Early defender of Duke lacrosse players dies
Posted on 03/25/2007 8:56:31 AM PDT by abb
Kirk Osborn, a prominent Chapel Hill lawyer who was an early outspoken defender of the Duke University lacrosse players, died this morning of a heart attack, his wife said today. Osborn suffered a massive heart attack on Friday, said Tania Osborn, his wife. He died at 12:47 a.m. today.
Osborn was a respected lawyer who had been in high-profile cases for years. He had participated in a number of death penalty cases and his wife said he was most proud that he had never lost a death penalty case.
He handled an appeal for Kathryn Dawn Wilson, who was charged in the infamous Little Rascals case, in which authorities in Edenton accused owners and operators of a day care of child abuse. Osborn eventually won a new trial for Wilson, who eventually saw the charges against her dismissed, according to Osborn's web site.
Most recently, Osborn was an attorney for Reade Seligmann, 21, who with two other lacrosse players are charged with sexually assaulting an escort service dancer hired to perform for a Duke lacrosse team party in March. Osborn was aggressive early with his defense. He filed a motion seeking to have Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong removed from the case, accusing the prosecutor of going after the lacrosse players to win votes.
Osborn's court filings announced to the world that despite Nifong's assurances that a rape occurred, Seligmann had phone records, receipts, security camera images and a cab driver that would show he was almost a mile away when the woman said he was participating in her rape.
Seligmann's alibi, which Nifong protested proved nothing, helped convince many that the allegations against Seligmann, Dave Evans, 23, and Collin Finnerty, 20, were untrue.
After the State Bar charged Nifong with ethics violations, he asked the state Attorney General to take over the case. Two veteran prosecutors are reviewing the case and will decide whether to press forward.
How old was he?
I just loked. He was not young. Rest in peace.
Thank you Mr. Kirk for showing the world the truth.......RIP
Do you have a picture of him? I can't remember which one he is.
God bless him and his family.
Job well done - exposing deceit and defending truth. Truly a great loss for all of us. Prayers for his family.
There is a picture here.
This is his website.
What a shame. Prayers for his family.
He was born in July, 1942. So that would make him 64.
Prayers up for the family. May this man rest in peace.
Too bad he didn't practice in MA. Maybe he could have save another family that was apparently railroaded in a day care case.
so he was young...
This is very sad. As Professor Johnson has posted it seems unfair that he will not be on hand when the charges are drop. This in my view adds to the same NC has for not quickly stopping this hoax when they finally had the chance.
The N&O has just reported the very sad news that Kirk Osborn, one of Reade Seligmann's attorneys, died this morning in Chapel Hill, after suffering a massive heart attack.
The Seligmann family released the following statement:
We are heartbroken over the death of Kirk Osborn.
Kirk stood up for Reade at great personal cost. He stood by Reade and together they faced the mob that was outside the Durham County Courthouse a year ago; Kirk never flinched and faced both that mob outside the Courthouse and the bias within the Courthouse with the courage that he showed throughout this case. He passionately believed that the truth would emerge and that the world would know of the injustice that was done that day and every day of this baseless prosecution.
While it is now plain to anyone with any reason and objectivity that there was no sexual assault and that Reade has been the victim of an unprincipled prosecution, we are nonetheless saddened that Kirk did not live to see the day when Reade will be completely exonerated. While that day will come, it will now come too late for Kirk to share in it. When that day does arrive, it will be as a direct result of Kirks courage, skill and passionate belief in the truth.
Our hearts go out to Kirks family. We ask that everyone remember them in their prayers. We will never forget Kirk and his sacrifices for Reade and for justice. Kirks fight for the truth and for justice in this case met the highest standards of ethics and professionalism and stand in stark contrast to those who condemned Reade. He is an example of what a lawyer should be.
We will be forever grateful to Kirk and will never forget what he has done for us.
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