Trooper investigated for shooting disabled man put on desk duty

Posted: Thursday, February 20, 2003

ANCHORAGE - An Alaska State Trooper under investigation for a fatal shooting on the Kenai Peninsula was taken off patrol duty Wednesday and placed in an administrative job at trooper headquarters in Anchorage.

The temporary transfer of Arthur Jesse Osborn is not disciplinary but rather "was taken as a result of many factors that have converged to make it increasingly difficult for Trooper Osborn to be effective in his current position," troopers said in a news release.

The factors cited by troopers include the shooting, the time-consuming investigation into the incident and a lawsuit already filed over it. Troopers also referred to "difficulties in his personal life; public concern(s) expressed in both Soldotna and Palmer; and, the extraordinary press coverage that has followed the shooting."

Osborn shot and killed Casey Porter on Jan. 4 in a confrontation at a pullout off the Sterling Highway. Troopers said Osborn feared Porter was going to ram his car into another trooper. Osborn, 26, transferred from Soldotna to Palmer after the shooting, but remained on patrol until now.

A front-page story in the Anchorage Daily News on Sunday drew attention to a series of incidents in which people accused Osborn of excessive force, including improper use of pepper spray.

On Tuesday, a Seward magistrate issued a protective order to keep him away from his wife after she filed papers in court accusing him of threatening her.

The trooper investigation into the shooting is wrapping up and could be turned over to the Kenai District Attorney's Office this week, Norris said.

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