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Man charged in Iowa City mobile home death

IOWA CITY (MCT) — The man accused of killing 34-year-old Sarah McKay told police he took drugs and drank alcohol before beating her with a baseball bat and strangling her, according to court documents.

Eric Scott Osborn, 26, McKay’s live-in boyfriend, was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder. His initial appearance before a Johnson County judge took place at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where he is being treated for self-inflicted injuries.

Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek said Osborn is in custody and being held on $1 million bail. He will be taken to jail when his condition improves.

McKay’s body was found Sunday night at the home she shared with Osborn at Modern Manor Mobile Home Park, 18 Expo Dr., just east of Iowa City.

The affidavit filed with the search warrant in Johnson County District Court said deputies arrived at the home around 9:30 p.m. Sunday to find Osborn sitting outside in a truck, bleeding from his neck and arms.

Investigators found McKay’s body lying in a bed at the back of the mobile home. Johnson County Deputy Dan Quiles said Osborn told him he had knocked McKay down about 3 a.m.

and choked her until she died. He said he had blacked out or forgotten what he had done.
When he realized what he’d done, he tried to kill himself, slitting his throat and wrists, taking Valium and drinking alcohol and bleach.

Osborn told Quiles he passed out and when he awoke around 8 p.m., he called his mother, who lives in Muscatine, and said something bad had happened to McKay.

Osborn was taken by ambulance to UI Hospitals, where he underwent surgery.

In a later interview at the hospital, Osborn said he and McKay had gone gambling Saturday, and afterward they went home, drank beer, smoked marijuana, took some pills, played a video game and went to bed.

Osborn said he hit McKay in the head with a baseball bat and then choked her because he did not want her to suffer. Osborn told investigators he had no idea why he’d killed McKay. He said he’d also tried to hang himself before calling his mother.

Osborn’s mother, Vicki Cox, said her son called her at 7:58 p.m., sounding like a “little child.” He asked her to come to Iowa City because he thought he’d hurt McKay and that she was dead.

Cox and her fiancee, Bobby Randall, met McKay’s mother, Sandra Lessenger, at the mobile home. They found Osborn injured and McKay’s body and called police.

Assistant State Medical Examiner Dr. Marcus Nashelsky and Johnson County Medical Examiner Dr. Stephen Scheckel ruled the death a homicide caused by injuries to the head and neck.

Osborn’s preliminary hearing was set for 2 p.m. March 22. A conviction on a first-degree murder charge carries a mandatory life prison sentence.

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