Granite Falls man sentenced to prison following a guilty plea to second-degree murder

LENOIR, NC (June 5, 2020) — A Granite Falls man was sentenced to an active prison term of 27 to 33 years following a guilty plea to second-degree murder and other charges during Caldwell County Superior Court on Thursday, June 4, 2020.

Michael Vincent Osborne, 39, entered the plea in front of the Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, and was sentenced to serve his period of incarceration in the custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections.

On June 25, 2018, Osborne shot and killed Edgar Rigobert Mendoza Picazo at a Granite Falls residence.

Osborne had previously loaned money to Picazo. Osborne went to collect the money from Picazo, and a confrontation ensued. Osborne shot the victim in the chest with a handgun at a distance of less than 2 feet and fled the scene.

Picazo went to a neighbor’s house seeking help before expiring. The autopsy report confirmed he died from major internal trauma caused by the gunshot wound to his chest.

Members of Picazo’s family were in the courtroom for the plea and acknowledged that he had made some poor decisions but did not deserve to be killed as they discussed the terrible loss of a brother, father and son.

In addition to the murder charge, Osborne also pleaded guilty to May 2017 charges of felony flee to elude and driving while impaired, and February 2018 charges of possession of methamphetamine and possession of firearm by a felon.

Osborne spent most of 2017 in medical facilities completing physical rehabilitation from injuries sustained when he crashed his vehicle during the flee to elude and DWI incident.

The murder case was investigated by Cpl. Stephen Raby and Capt. Aaron Barlowe of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and Hudson Police Department. Det. Stella January of Lenoir Police Department investigated the flee to elude and DWI.

Assistant District Attorney W. Andrew Jennings prosecuted the murder for the State, and Assistant District Attorney Jennifer C. Mathews handled the flee to elude, DWI and drug cases.