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Cedar Rapids man sentenced to 50-years in prison for killing his pregnant girlfriend

Published: May. 14, 2022 at 11:07 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - “The punishment you are getting you earned,” said Judge Jason Besler.

On Friday, Judge Besler handed down a 50-year sentence to Johnnie Osborne IV for killing his pregnant girlfriend, Asia Grice, on May 1st, 2020. Keonna Smith was also shot several times, including in the head. He was charged with second-degree murder, attempted murder, and nonconsensual termination of pregnancy.

Osborne was living with Grice at Smith’s apartment at the time of the shooting. Smith said she wanted Johnnie out of the house the night he shot and killed her and her unborn baby.

“I refuse to speak the defendant’s name,” said Victoria McDaniel, Grice’s sister. “I’ll refer to him as monster. What happened to these two women was incredibly senseless, and we feel as if justice was not served.”

Family members gave impact statements about their loss, their grief, and their anger. This was the first time they were able to address the person who killed their daughter.

“Growing up, there’s no way in hell that I would’ve expected my sister would lose her life at 25,” said her brother. “It never crossed my mind, and the fact in which she was murdered is very disturbing.”

Smith said she didn’t want to address Osborne with anger but rather how she has recovered.

“I’ve found a home, a few months later, I found a job that I fell in love with while I was still healing physically and mentally, she said. “I moved my son back in and finally feel confident enough that he will be safe with me again.”

Morlean Watson lost her daughter and her future grandchild. She said this sentencing marks the end of her grieving.

“I refuse to waste any more tears or let Mr. Osborne have that power over me,” she said. “Today is a good day for me.”

Osborne took a plea deal not long before his first-degree murder trial was set to start. That dropped his first-degree murder charge down to second-degree. That’s something the family didn’t want, but it guarantees Osborne would spend decades in prison. Second-degree murder carries a mandatory 50-year sentence. He would be able to apply for parole after serving 70% of the time, 35-years.

“I do believe that if we would have proceeded with the first-degree murder trial and not accepted the plea, we would have lost Asia and King’s killer. “I am willing to accept what we were given, but no, it wasn’t what we wanted.”

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