News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

April 29, 2013

Jury seated in cold-case murder trial of Richard Boswell Jr.

Boswell accused of killing 20-year-old Kathy Jo Baker in 1979

TERRE HAUTE — Opening statements are under way in the trial of a Riley man accused in a 34-year-old homicide.

Richard Boswell Jr., 55, is charged in the 1979 slaying of a 20-year-old woman, Kathy Jo Baker, and the attempted killing of her then-2-year-old son.

This morning, Judge Michael Lewis called 50 prospective jurors into Vigo Superior Court 6 to begin the selection process, which continued throughout the morning. The 12 jurors and two alternates were selected by 1:30 p.m.

Boswell was being tried in the case in January, when a mistrial was declared after a witness made reference to the defendant’s criminal history.

Defense attorneys Luther Garcia and Michael Wright have voiced concerns about pretrial publicity in the case, and requested a change of venue on the basis that an unbiased jury would be hard to select.

Lewis denied that request.

Boswell was arrested in October 2011 after an Indiana State Police investigation into the cold case murder linked Boswell to the killing through DNA evidence, which was recovered on a shirt that Baker was wearing on the day she died.

The original investigation showed that Baker and her young son went missing from their home, prompting a search of the area.

The following day, people in the area heard the child crying, and found him near his mother’s body. The child had been struck on the head in an alleged attempt to kill him, as well.

No arrest in the case was made until Boswell’s arrest in 2010.

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