Crime Grandmother indicted for murder, hindering prosecution in death of Daniel Osborn now facing drug charges | The Cullman Tribune


Grandmother indicted for murder, hindering prosecution in death of Daniel Osborn now facing drug charges

Susan Winton Smith's May booking photo (Cullman County Sheriff’s Office)

Updated 7-20-18 at 9:49 p.m.

FAIRVIEW - Susan Winton Smith, 66, of Fairview, who had been arrested twice on related charges since Cullman County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) investigators discovered the body of Daniel Ray Osborn II, 22, buried in her yard in March, was arrested for a third time this week on additional charges stemming from that incident. Smith’s grandson, Andrew Jacob Maresh, 19, of Hartselle, and Tyler Stephen Hudson, 20, of Baileyton, are charged in Osborn’s murder.

Smith’s third arrest came two weeks after making bond on her second arrest. The bond for Smith’s second arrest came after protracted legal wrangling between Smith’s attorney Champ Crocker, the CCSO and the circuit court about the amount.

In the third arrest, Smith was charged with two counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance: one count for marijuana, the other for methamphetamine.  According to the criminal complaint, the offenses occurred on March 27, the day after the discovery of Osborn’s body. The complaint, though, was not filed until July 13, 11 days after Smith bonded out following her second arrest.  Smith was arrested for the third time three days later.

Timeline of events

  • Feb. 3, 2018 - Osborn last seen by his family in Hartselle
  • March 26, 2018 - OSBORN’S BODY DISCOVERED; MARESH AND HUDSON ARRESTED.  Cullman County Dispatch received call from caller (not identified publicly) claiming that Osborn had been murdered by Maresh and Hudson and buried in Smith’s backyard.  CCSO Investigator Joey Clark got consent from Smith to search her property and discovered Osborn’s body. Clark and Capt. Ronnie Melton located Hudson and transported him to the CCSO.  According to Clark’s report, “Upon arrival at the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office and after waiving his rights, Mr. Hudson admitted to his role in the murder of Daniel Ray Osborn II.”  Maresh already had an attorney, who transported him to CCSO. According to Clark’s report, “After waiving his rights and while his lawyer was present, Andrew Maresh admitted to his role in the murder of Daniel Ray Osborn II.”
  • March 28, 2018 - SMITH ARRESTED FOR HINDERING PROSECUTION.  According to Clark’s report, “Susan Smith was arrested at the Cullman County Courthouse for hindering prosecution due to the fact that she had been told by Mr. Hudson and Mr. Maresh that they had murdered and buried the body of Daniel Ray Osborn II on or around February 3, 2018.”  On the same day, Smith was assigned a $10,000 property bond. She made bond and was released later that day.
  • April 3, 2018 - CCSO investigator Joey Clark gave a statement describing the events of Mar. 26-29, noting Smith’s arrest for hindering prosecution, but without mention of the alleged murder or drug offenses.
  • May 17, 2018 - SMITH CHARGED WITH MURDER.  A Grand Jury returned a two-count indictment against Smith, adding murder to the hindering prosecution charge.  The first count repeated the original charge, while the second count read: “The GRAND JURY of said county further charge that, before the finding of this indictment, SUSAN WINTON SMITH, whose name is otherwise unknown to the GRAND JURY, did, on or about February 3, 2018, intentionally caused the death of another person, to-wit: DANIEL RAY OSBORN II, by SHOOTING HIM with a FIREARM…”
  • May 18, 2018 - Arrest warrant issued for Smith on murder and hindering prosecution charges.  Circuit court assigned bail of $65,000 cash.
  • May 21, 2018 - Smith arrested on combined murder/hindering prosecution charges.  The cash bond amount kept her in jail until early July.
  • May 25, 2018 - Smith’s attorney filed a motion to amend and lower her bond.  This motion was responded to on July 2.
  • June 5, 2018 - Smith’s attorney filed a petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, alleging that “The Petitioner (Smith) is illegally and unlawfully imprisoned in the Cullman County Jail” and calling for a hearing on her bond amount within five days.  The circuit court denied the petition two days later.
  • July 2, 2018 - Smith’s attorney’s motion to amend her bond was granted, and her bond was lowered to $25,000 cash.  That same day, a relative of Smith’s deposited $25,000 cash in the circuit clerk’s office and Smith was released after being scheduled for a hearing on Sept. 7.
  • July 13, 2018 - CCSO investigator Jared Aaron filed a criminal complaint alleging Smith committed the two drug offenses on March 27.
  • July 16, 2018 - Smith arrested for two counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance; bond set at $40,000 property; Smith bonded out the same day.

Late Friday night, The Tribune received the following statement from Crocker:

"Mrs. Smith has entered a plea of not guilty to hindering prosecution, not guilty to murder and will plea not guilty to drug distribution at the appropriate time. The Constitution of the State of Alabama says the right to a jury trial shall remain 'inviolate' - a strong word - but we still live in a country where people are free, and the right to a jury trial is fundamental to our freedom.  Mrs. Smith respects the judicial process. She looks forward to her day in court and to clearing her name. Champ Crocker, attorney for Susan Winton Smith"

This is a developing story.


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