Brother of murder suspect convicted

"The brother of accused murderer Jesse Oslade went to jail two weeks ago after an Island County jury convicted him of threatening to kill his girlfriend.The jury convicted Victor Oslade, 22, of Mukilteo, on April 20 on two counts of felony telephone harassment for threatening to kill his Langley-area girlfriend. Island County prosecutors charged Osalde with seven counts of felony harassment, claiming that Osalde did so in telephone calls to the Langley woman between Sept. 1998 and Feb. 2000.Greg Banks, Island County prosecutor, said Thursday that the threats stemmed from the fact that Osalde did not like making child support payments to his ex-girlfriend. In the phone calls he made to the woman, Osalde said that his brothers had killed people and she should expect him to kill as well. He threatened to kill the ex-girlfriend and her mother.Osalde's brother, Jesse, is currently awaiting trial in Cowlitz County for the murder of Clinton resident Ed Ross.Banks said the conviction is an unusual one in this county, as it is difficult to prove a death threat. However, Victor Osalde's victim kept a log of the threatening phone calls he made to her. The log was the linchpin in the prosecution's case.This is a significant case, Banks said. It's pretty rare that we see (threat cases), especially at the felony level.Only murder threats are treated as felony crimes, Banks said.Any threat case, whether it involves face-to-face, telephone, or email communication, is more easily proved if a victim keeps a record of the threats. Banks said anyone who believes he or she is a victim of a crime of this nature should not only contact law enforcement, but should also keep a log of the dates, nature, and content of any threats.Of the seven counts leveled against him, Osalde pleaded guilty to two. The jury found him guilty on two other counts, not guilty on two others, and was hung on a fifth. The prosecutors office can retry Osalde on that fifth count, but Banks said he is not sure if he will do that.Dept. Prosecutor Michael Henegen, who tried the case, said Osalde could receive a prison sentence ranging between nine and 12 months. He will be sentenced in Island County Superior Court on May 15.Jesse Osalde, 19, and Angel Fernandez, 34, are expected to go to trial on first-degree murder charges in July. Two other suspects in that case, Paul Sarkis, Jr. of Langley and TaLee Colter of Mukilteo, have already pleaded guilty to the respective charges of first-degree felony murder and first-degree manslaughter. All four suspects will be sentenced after the trial."

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