Murder suspect Vashon Walker gets $500,000 bond

A judge has granted murder suspect Vashon Walker a $500,000 bond in the June 17 fatal shooting of his girlfriend Jessica Osborne.

Osborne, 28, who with her children was moving from Meridian, Miss., into a Columbus house the family was to share with Walker, was pronounced dead there of a gunshot wound to the head at 7:40 p.m.

Walker, 23, with blood on his pants and shirt, claimed an intruder killed her. Police said the house was in disarray, and a TV set had toppled onto the floor.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Al Whitaker told Superior Court Judge Frank Jordan Jr. today that authorities suspect Walker “staged” the robbery to make it appear an intruder killed Osborne. Witnesses saw Walker kicking in the home’s back door to make it appear someone had forced entry, he said.

Whitaker said investigators believe Walker killed her because he has “a history of beating and abusing women.”

Defense attorney William Kendrick told Jordan that Walker was a victim, not the perpetrator. Walker was the one who called 911 and told dispatchers, “Please get here. I can’t stop the bleeding.” Kendrick said Osborne and Walker were happy to be sharing a new home.

Also speaking today was one of Osborne’s aunts, who of Walker said: “The family wishes that he have no bond.” She became overcome with emotion after speaking and had to sit down.

Whitaker told Jordan that Walker has a history of threatening witnesses and likely will do so again if he gets out of jail. Walker was on probation for other felony charges when arrested in Osborne’s death, and faces more felonies unrelated to the homicide.

Besides the $500,000 bond for Walker’s murder charge, Jordan set bonds of $25.000 each on two counts of aggravated assault and one of aggravated battery, plus additional bonds for weapons charges.

During a June 21 preliminary hearing in Columbus Recorder's Court, detectives said Walker told them he was outside the house when he heard a commotion inside after Osborne came home. He went in and confronted an intruder, and several shots were fired before the intruder fled, he said.

Investigators found a gun in the yard, which Walker denied owning, noting he was a convicted felon who by law couldn't have a gun. Police said they also found shell casings in the house and in a 2007 Chrysler Sebring parked out front.

They said text messages on Osborne's phone showed she felt she needed to move back to Meridian with her daughters, ages 2, 7 and 9.