Thursday, November 18, 1999

By Ken Sakamoto, Star-Bulletin
Petty Officer Frank Osheski is escorted into
the courthouse for his murder trial.

Navy seeks
conviction in
infant’s death

A sailor is being court
martialed for smothering his
3-month-old daughter

By Gregg K. Kakesako


In closing arguments, prosecuting attorney Lt. Sarah Gill maintained that Petty Officer Frank Osheski killed his infant daughter on Mother's Day 1998 and then had sex with his wife Mary afterward in retaliation for his wife's infidelity and abusive behavior.

Gill said Osheski's action didn't show sadness and justified the government's contention that the murder was intentional.

Gill also maintained that Osheski kept pushing the child's face into the mattress of her crib from four to six minutes, again showing he intended to kill.

"Pushing her while she is struggling requires intent," Gill said. "Not stopping when the child is crying requires intent."

But defense attorney Lt. Marcus Harper rejected the government's contention that Mary's infidelity, Osheski's hatred of his wife and the burden of caring for 3-month-old Amy Osheski were reasons for the murder.

"Amy didn't mean a lot to Mary Osheski," Harper said, adding that killing the infant would not have affected Osheski's wife.

Harper also argued that the child could have suffocated even after Osheski stopped pushing her on the back. Harper said much of the evidence presented by the prosecution were "snapshots taken out of context."

During the two day court martial, the government presented six witnesses. The defense rested without presenting any witnesses.

Osheski, 26, an eight-year Navy veteran, has already pleaded guilty to accidentally murdering his daughter on May 10, 1998, in his Iroquois Point naval housing home.

However, Navy prosecutors are seeking to convict Osheski on the greater charge of premeditated murder.

If convicted, Osheski, a machinist assigned to the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, could be imprisoned for life. A verdict in his court-martial was expected today with sentencing set for this afternoon.

Yesterday, Dr. Janice Ophovern, a government forensic pediatric pathologist, testified that after reviewing evidence gathered by Navy investigators, she ruled out the possibility that Osheski's daughter died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

She also said the child was not suffering from any other chronic disease which could have led to her death.

Several government witnesses testified that Osheski's wife Mary is manipulative, abusive and controlling. Frank Osheski is seeking a divorce.

Gail Macpherson testified Osheski's marriage was crumbling, their home was in disarray and that the petty officer stayed in the "very abusive relationship" only because of their two children.

Macpherson also testified that Mary Osheski left most of the household chores to her husband and didn't even change the diapers on Amy or the couple's son Kyle, but waited until her husband came home and then ordered him to do the chores.

Navy Petty Officer Christian Andersen, who served on the Trident missile submarine USS Ohio with Osheski, said Osheski believed Amy was conceived while he was on an overseas deployment.

Navy investigators played a videotape of Osheski's three-bedroom home in Ewa Beach taken the day of the infant's death, which showed rooms littered with trash; unwashed pots, pans, utensils and dishes; and food left in open containers and cookies on baking racks.

Andersen, who tried to help revive Amy, said the "smell was so bad that it nearly knocked me out" when he entered the home.

Ophovern said Amy was suffering from a very bad diaper rash and an improper diet, which Navy prosecutors said mainly consisted of apple juice.

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