Former Columbia resident sentenced to life in prison after triple murder

COLUMBIA, Mo. - A former Columbia man accused of a murder here more than 30 years ago will spend the rest of his life in prison for a triple murder in Saint Louis.

Mitchell Osburn's case is a big deal in St. Louis, but it opens some wounds still in Columbia too.

Osburn's been sentenced to life in prison, running concurrently to a life sentence from a Columbia murder.

It was back in 1979 when Osburn and another man shot a used car salesman during a test drive here in Columbia.

At the time, Osburn was just 16.

Osburn pleaded guilty that same year to the murder and got a life prison sentence.He was released on parole less than 20 years later in 1997.

In 2002, Osburn sat down at a picnic table with three men at Simpson Park in St. Louis.

Prosecutors say he stabbed the three men with fishing knives.

Two dying quickly, the third dying later - a brutal murder seemingly random.

Court documents painted an image of a man tormented schizophrenia.

Yesterday, Osburn was sentenced to life in prison without parole for each count of first-degree murder.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Osburn entered a plea acknowledging the prosecution had enough evidence to convict him back in May.

If he tried to plead insanity as his  defense and lost, he could have been faced with execution.

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