MADISON, Wis. – A Minnesota man with a string of domestic violence convictions was charged in the death of a Saudi Arabian college student stemming from a confrontation in northwestern Wisconsin last year, prosecutors said Friday.
Cullen Osburn, 27, of Minneapolis, was charged with felony murder and aggravated battery in the death of University of Wisconsin-Stout student Hussain Alnahdi, 24, in October. Authorities began speaking with Osburn soon after Alnahdi’s death, but he disappeared after telling police the altercation wasn’t based on race and promising to come in to talk to detectives, according to the criminal complaint.
Online court records didn’t list a defense attorney.
Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf told the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram newspaper that Osburn was arrested in Minnesota and would have to be extradited. No details of the arrest were given, and Nodolf’s office told The Associated Press she wouldn’t comment. The complaint is dated Nov. 14 but wasn’t filed until Thursday, suggesting Nodolf was waiting until Osburn was in custody. A message left with Menomonie police wasn’t immediately returned.
Alnahdi was a business major at the UW campus in Menomonie.
According to the criminal complaint, police responding to a fight outside a Menomonie pizza restaurant during the early-morning hours of Oct. 30 found Alnahdi unconscious and bleeding from his nose and mouth. He died the next day; an autopsy determined he had suffered a skull fracture.
Osburn’s brother, Deontre Hughes, told police he saw Alnahdi and another man pushing Osburn. He said that Osburn swung at Alnahdi after Alnahdi ripped Osburn’s necklace off.
Another witness, Nina Simonette, told police she saw a man talking to Alnahdi, who put his hands up in the air as if to say he didn’t want a problem. The man then hit Alnahdi twice, she told police.
Detectives received a call from Osburn on Nov. 2, two days after Alnahdi’s death, the complaint said. Osburn said he was scared and wanted to cooperate with police but wanted an attorney with him.
“The Defendant was adamant that the altercation was not a result of anybody’s race but did not want to say anything else without a lawyer,” the complaint said.
He called police on Nov. 3 to say he would call them the following day to schedule an interview but never called back and detectives couldn’t find him.
Osburn faces up to six years in prison on each charge, with more possible time due to convictions in Minnesota, including several for domestic abuse and violating no-contact orders going back to 2008.