The former DCS worker facing criminal charges is scheduled to be in Madison Circuit Court Friday, arguing the indictment against him should be dismissed because not only are the allegations too vague to comply with state law and constitutional guarantees, but also because he is protected by immunity.
Spencer Osborn was indicted Dec. 2, 2019, on four counts of neglect of a dependent, three as Level 3 felonies and one as a Level 5 felony. The charges stem from a case involving a 4-year-old boy who was “seriously injured multiple times” after Osborn, who was then a caseworker for the Indiana Department of Child Services, allegedly removed the youngster from his foster home and returned him to his mother.
The motion to dismiss asserts the indictment violates state statute because it does not include any description of the allegations and does not provide the date, time and place of the offense with sufficient particularly. In addition, the motion points to Article I, Section 13 of the Indiana Constitution, which holds that defendants will have the right “to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him.”
Moreover, the motion argues the charges should be dismissed based on the “doctrine of quasi-judicial immunity and /or statutory immunity,” as provided in Indiana Code § 31-25-2-2.5.
The hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m. before Circuit Judge Mark Dudley.
Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said he moved forward with criminal charges because his community is “growing very weary” of children being harmed by family members even though they are under the care of DCS. However, Osborn’s attorney, Philip Sheward of Allen Wellman McNew Harvey, LLP, claimed the criminal case is arising from a dispute between the prosecutor’s office and DCS that has now put Osborn in the middle.
Osborn has also filed a motion for authorization to obtain records from DCS.
He is seeking all unredacted copies of DCS files associated with each child in need of services and termination of parental rights case involving the 4-year-old’s mother, Kathryn Hill, as well as case summaries, pleadings and transcripts along with the recordings of forensic interviews administered to Hill’s children.
Also, Osborn wants access to his personnel file and all written communications with any other individual involved with any DCS matter regarding Hill.
According to Sheward, a continuance has been requested on the authorization motion, so it will not be part of Friday’s hearing.