Teen's Capital Murder Trial to Be Open to Public

14-year-old accused of fatally hitting 5-year-old in head with bowling ball

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The trial of a teen charged with capital murder will be open to the public. Investigators say the suspect, who is now 14, told police that he got irritated with 5-year-old Sida Osman and hit him several times in head with a bowling ball.

    The trial of a teenager accused of beating a 5-year-old Fort Worth boy to death with a bowling ball will be open to the public.

    Fort Worth police found the body of 5-year-old Sida Osman in the backyard of an abandoned house in late June, 18 hours after he was last seen riding his bicycle. Osman's family had left Somalia to escape violence there.

    Investigators said Osman went into the fenced area with a 13-year-old who later told police he got irritated and hit the boy several times in head with a bowling ball.

    The suspect, who is now 14, is charged with capital murder and will be tried as a juvenile.

    Because he was only 13 at the time of the killing, the teen's defense attorneys wanted to keep the trial closed to the public but dropped the motion in a surprise move Tuesday's afternoon.

    "We really just want to make sure it's a fair trial with it," defense attorney Brian Willett said.

    "We understand at some point it's going to come out anyway," he said. "We think that, maybe with it all coming out at one time, that maybe our side will be heard a little bit more than if it just waited until the very end. So, after talking to him, after talking to the family and, of course, the attorneys discussed it, too, we thought maybe the better way was let everything come out."

    The trial is set to start Nov. 6.

    If convicted, the suspect could spend the next 40 years behind bars -- first in juvenile detention and then prison.