UPDATE: Jury Selection Made in 1989 Cold Case Murder Trial - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

UPDATE: Jury Selection Made in 1989 Cold Case Murder Trial

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John Oldson John Oldson

The jury selection has been made in the cold case murder trial of a Missouri man accused of killing a 30-year-old Ord woman in 1989.

Eighty potential jurors reported to the Howard County Courthouse Monday, spending the entire day answering questions about their knowledge of the case and what opinions they may have already formed about Oldson's alleged involvement in Cathy Beard's murder.

After a long day of questioning, 14 jurors were chosen -- 12 of whom will actually sit in on the case and two who will serve as backups.

The trial was recently moved from Valley County to Howard County because, the defense says, it was impossible to find an unbiased and fair jury in the small town of Ord, where the trial was initially supposed to be held. 

Oldson is accused of killing Beard, who disappeared from an Ord bar in 1989, never to be seen alive again. Her skeletal remains were found on a dirt road outside Ord three years later.

New evidence led police to arrest Oldson last year.

Oldson has a dark history of violence against women and children, serving time behind bars in 1989 -- the same year Beard vanished -- for assaulting a woman in Burwell, and was convicted again in 1992 of assaulting two more women.

In 2003, he was sent to prison for felony child abuse, after he stuck needles into his step–daughters' stomachs.

In a police interview in 2010, Oldson's ex–wife said that he had a sick obsession with women's abdomens, and that he was "sexually turned on by them."

Autopsy results show Beard died from blunt force trauma to the ribs and sharp force trauma to the abdominal region.

According to the arrest affidavit, Oldson told police after Beard's disappearance that he was at the same bar as Beard on the night she vanished, and that he even got mad at her for rejecting his sexual advances, but he denies he had anything to do with her death.

However, several people who knew both Beard and Oldson during the time of Beard's disappearance, told police that Oldson had made disturbing comments about Beard before her body was found. And one witness told police that Oldson even confessed to knowing where Beard's body was, saying she would never be found and "deserved everything she got."

The trial is expected to begin Tuesday morning and last for two weeks.

Oldson -- a former Ord resident, who now lives in Randolph, Mo. -- has been behind bars in Nebraska since the case was re-opened in 2008.

 

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