Woman admits role in slaying of 17-year-old runaway

Anne Marie Osburn could be eligible for parole in a little more than a year after she is sentenced for her role in the slaying of a 17-year-old runaway.

The now 27-year-old Osburn, who has been in custody since her arrest in early August 2008, pleaded guilty Friday to voluntary manslaughter with a deadly weapon. She also agreed to a sentence of eight to 20 years in prison.

After staying quiet for more than six years about his role in the death of Nichole Yegge, Gabriel Yates told a judge in October that he acted alone in the July 2008 beating and strangulation.

“That was very helpful, but that had been our theory throughout the case,” said Special Public Defender David Schieck, who represents Osburn.

Osburn entered a type of guilty plea known as an Alford plea, which means she admitted only that prosecutors have enough evidence to prove her guilt.

Yegge’s naked, mutilated body was found in a shallow desert grave in August 2008. In an attempt to conceal the victim’s identity, Yates had knocked out Yegge’s teeth and sliced the tattoos off her skin.

Detectives found Yegge’s body under a pile of rocks along a fence outside the Snow Mountain Golf Course northwest of Las Vegas.

Las Vegas authorities have said Yates and Osburn pimped out Yegge, a runaway teen who suffered from bipolar disorder.

Schieck said Osburn was manipulated by Yates, and “she has a great deal of remorse over what happened to Nichole.”

With credit for time served after an April sentencing, Osburn would be in prison for less than a year and a half before a parole board hears her case.

The deadly weapon enhancement was considered a “fictitious” charge, considering no weapon was used in the killing, but attorneys used the charge to reach the negotiated sentence.

Originally facing the death penalty, Yates and Osburn dragged the case through the courts for years.

Since Yates pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 to 50 years in prison, Osburn fought for parental rights to the girl she gave birth to just weeks before her arrest. She took the deal with prosecutors after her custody battle proved unsuccessful.

Contact reporter David Ferrara at 702-380-1039 or dferrara@reviewjournal.com. Find him on Twitter: @randompoker

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