Cold Case Murder Trial Begins Monday


Jury selection begins Monday in a cold case murder trial that went unresolved for nearly a quarter century.

Twenty-four years after Cathy Beard's death, John Oldson will stand trial, accused of killing the Ord woman, who disappeared from a bar never to be seen alive again.

Oldson was arrested one year ago outside his home in Randolph, Mo.

Authorities have called him "a bad man with a violent past."

He was interviewed by police following Beard's disappearance. At the time, Oldson said Beard followed him outside the bar that night and made him mad when she declined his sexual advances, the affidavit says.

He told police his "hormones got the better of him," and he tried to pull her into his pickup, but she broke free from his grasp and drove off in another pickup with two men.

Autopsy results show Beard died from blunt and sharp force trauma to the ribs and sharp force trauma to the abdominal region of the spine and vertebrae.

In the years that followed, he was convicted of assaults on at least three other women.

Oldson's arrest for the murder of Cathy Beard generated a great deal of interest in Ord.

The bar in question is visible from the Valley County Courthouse, and jury room.

And 75 percent of potential jurors reported having been in the bar.

Because of that, lawyers asked the case to be moved. Judge Karin Noakes agreed, and the trial will now be held in the Howard County Courthouse in St. Paul.

Judge Noakes was previously County Attorney in Howard County.

In November, the prosecutor submitted a list of 26 names as potential witnesses.

James Mowbray of the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy will act as defense attorney. The Commission acts as a state public defender's office to provide relief for counties in serious cases.

The trial starts Monday at 9:00 a.m. with jury selection.