Cold Case Attorneys Make Case for Retrial

By: WOWT Email
By: WOWT Email

A jury found John Oldson guilty in the 1989 murder of an Ord woman back in February, but the judge still hasn't handed down a sentence for the 23 year old cold case.

Oldson's attorneys showed his jury a few copied pages from a diary that was mailed to Oldson shortly after his arrest.

The defense claims the writings show that someone else could have kidnapped and killed Cathy Beard - but jurors still found Oldson guilty of second degree murder.

On Monday, the defense presented more evidence they say proves the diary is legitimate and continue to ask for a retrial.

Oldson's attorneys say the incomplete and graphic writings that were mailed to Oldson were written by a rural Garfield County woman. The pages describe the kidnap, torture, and death of four people. Some of the names and descriptions match up with real missing people like Jill Cutshall and Sharon Baldeagle. The defense claims that the "Kathy" the diary refers to could be Cathy Beard.

Doug Olson, a man who worked at the alleged author's ranch, was sought after by both the prosecution and defense in connection with the diary pages, but wasn't questioned until after his arrest on other charges. He testified on Monday that he saw a hillside structure that could have been the "cave" described in the diary as the place the kidnapped women and girls were kept.

Olson testified that he did not mail the diary pages, but a crime lab report shows his DNA is on the envelope and stamp.

The prosecution says the pages and ranch were investigated by law enforcement, and says Olson told his girlfriend in a recorded jail phone call that he thought they'd given enough evidence to get John Oldson exonerated and get his former employer, who he says owes him money, into trouble.

The defense says all the evidence should be given to a jury to decide.

The judge says she needs time to look over the evidence and check other case law before she makes a decision. She could decide anytime in the next few weeks. Oldson's next hearing is scheduled for early June.

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