Wednesday, February 21, 2018
News Roundup

Jury selected in case of man charged in murder of wife, a St. Petersburg College professor

BROOKSVILLE — Alan Osterhoudt Jr. dialed 911 one day last year and told the operator he did the most heinous thing he'd ever done in his life.

Osterhoudt, 63, admitted to shooting his wife, Maria, in the back of the head after an argument, the Hernando Sheriff's Office said at the time. He waited for deputies outside the couple's Spring Hill home. His wife's body was found in a bathroom.

That was Feb. 25, 2012. On Monday, attorneys selected a jury to hear Osterhoudt's second-degree murder trial.

If convicted as charged, Osterhoudt faces a maximum of life in prison, with a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years because a firearm was used.

Prosecutors offered a 30-year sentence for a guilty plea, then rejected a counteroffer by defense attorney Kenneth Foote to have Osterhoudt plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter and receive 15-year sentence.

Foote revealed little about his strategy as he questioned potential jurors. He asked if they ever had arguments with their spouses. He asked if they ever drank too much. He compared the trial to a football game.

"Are you going to be willing to wait for the second half to make a decision?" he asked.

Osterhoudt, who does not have a prior criminal record in Florida, spent five days in jail and was released after posting $250,000 bail. He still lives in the home on Raymond Place.

Maria Osterhoudt, 65, was a beloved professor at the Tarpon Springs campus of St. Petersburg College who planned to retire in July 2012.

Her son, Raymond Carter, told the Times after her death that Osterhoudt, his stepfather, was an alcoholic who became mean when he drank. Carter said he had never seen Osterhoudt harm her, though.

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