The Eau Claire news publication Leader-Telegram published a report on Thursday, July 27, which revealed information about University of Wisconsin–Stout student Hussain Saeed Alnahdi. According to Eau Claire police records, Alnahdi was intoxicated after leaving a bar three months prior to his death.
Christopher Zipko, defense lawyer to Minneapolis-native Cullen M. Osburn, 27, received information on footage capturing Alnahdi and another individual leaving a tavern in Eau Claire, intoxicated and urinating in a street.
Osburn, who pleaded not guilty, was charged with felony murder and aggravated assault as a repeat offender after an altercation with Alnahdi on Oct. 30 in downtown Menomonie. Alnahdi died on Oct. 31 due to a traumatic brain injury. His blood alcohol level was 0.284, as reported by Menomonie police investigator Kelly Pollock. The legal driving limit in Wisconsin is 0.08.
During Thursday’s hearing, Judge Rod Smeltzer denied Zipko’s request for the review of university disciplinary records related to alcohol or other substance abuse involving Alnahdi, and the two witnesses to the incident, Nina Simonette and Evan Walters.
Zipko said that there were discrepancies between both witnesses and their perceptions of the incident. He further explained that Simonette was inconsistent in the three stories she gave police about whether or not she had been drinking that night. As for Walters, he was not clear about how much alcohol he drank and whether or not he was inside or outside Toppers Pizza.
“It goes directly to their ability to remember events if they had been drinking as well,” Zipko said.
Robert Kaiser, a state assistant attorney general, said that Alnahdi’s intoxication in Eau Claire is irrelevant to the case. Kaiser also said that student records are protected and not open to “fishing expeditions.”
A status hearing has been set for Aug. 24. “This is a case I think we can do justice with an agreement,” Smeltzer said, encouraging possible resolutions to the charges.
Osburn will remain incarcerated at the Dunn County Jail on a $25,000 bond.
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