March trial set for Cedar Rapids man accused of killing pregnant girlfriend and her unborn child

Cedar Rapids police officers stand in front of the apartment building at 1610 30th St. NW on May 1, 2020, where Asia T. Grice, 25, was fatally shot and another woman seriously injured. The trial for Johnnie T. Grace IV, 27, accused in the shootings, is set to begin March 29. (The Gazette)

Johnnie Osborne IV

CEDAR RAPIDS — The trial for a Cedar Rapids man, accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend and causing the death of her unborn child, will go forward March 29.

Johnnie Osborne IV, 27, is charged with first-degree murder, termination of pregnancy during a forcible felony, attempted murder and willful injury.

He is accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend, Asia T. Grice, 25, who was in her second trimester of pregnancy on May 1, 2020.

She died of a gunshot wound to her head, and her unborn child did not survive, according to a criminal complaint. Grice’s friend, Keonna Smith, who was in the apartment at the time, also was shot and seriously injured.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Jason Besler, during a hearing Friday, discussed with the defense and prosecution lawyers how many jurors to call and will set a March 25 hearing to take up any pending motions.

The trial is expected a last 10 days, and 100 prospective jurors will be called.

The shooting

Cedar Rapids police were called to an apartment at 1610 30th St. NW at 4:39 a.m. May 1, 2020, on a report of shots being fired. Officers found Grice’s body and Smith seriously wounded inside the apartment

Smith said Grice and Osborne had been temporarily staying with her for about a month, according to a criminal complaint and search warrant affidavit.

Smith said she was in bed when she heard a loud bang in the living room, where Grice and Osborne were staying. Osborne opened her bedroom door and shot at her multiple times with a silver revolver, according to the court documents.

Osborne left the apartment, and Smith tried to call for help but couldn’t operate a phone due to her injuries, according to the affidavit. Someone else called police.

Smith told police she had seen the revolver hidden in her couch before the shooting and believed it belonged to Grice or Osborne, the affidavit stated.

A woman who spoke to police said she learned of the shooting and went to the Rodeway Inn, 4011 16th Ave. SW, where she had rented a room for Osborne’s brother, Jahvonte Osborne, 20, the affidavit stated. She went to his room, found Johnnie Osborne was inside, and notified police.

Police found the brothers at the motel and brought them in for questioning, according to the affidavit.

Jahvonte Osborne said he had been at a friend’s that evening and that his brother had picked him up around 6 a.m. May 1. Officers checked surveillance footage from the motel, and it showed the brothers returning to the motel about 4:57 a.m.

Another witness told police she called her son for a ride about 12:30 a.m. and that he arrived with two males, the affidavit stated. One she knew as “Johnnie” and the other as ‘BigDawgg Kaeto,” as Jahvonte Osborne identifies himself on social media.

After two stops, she told police, they went to a parking lot behind Smith’s building, and she watched the Osborne brothers walk toward the apartment building before leaving.

‘Something felt off’

Grice’s sister, Victoria McDaniel of Joliet, Ill., told The Gazette a few days after the slaying that Johnnie Osborne was controlling, jealous and possessive.

McDaniel said after meeting Osborne last year, she thought “something felt off about him.” Her sister was different when he was with her — ‘“like he drained her of her light,” the sister said.

McDaniel said her sister, who worked in assisted living and was studying to be a certified nursing assistant, had just put down a deposit on her own place.

She said she believes that’s why her sister was killed — because she had a new plan for her life.

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