WILTON – A film crew has been shooting scenes about a local story for a new Investigation Discovery series on couples who commit crimes out of love for each other.
One of the hourlong episodes will tell the story of Joshua Osborne and Donna Enman who were both convicted and sentenced to two years in jail after Osborne’s mother Janette Osborne was shot and wounded while hanging up the laundry. The incident took place in the summer of 2003 on the family’s Osborne Road farm in Farmington. The case involved a plot to kill the mother in a dispute between mother and son over ownership of the farm.
The show’s producer Hugo Soskin of Indigo Films based in San Rafael, Calif., specializes in detailing real crime stories, said interviewing those involved and hearing the story retold “has been really interesting.” With Mainers, Robert Sylvain of Portland on sound and director of photography Larry Young of Bethel assisting, Soskin interviewed Osborne, Enman, a police detective, a criminal defense attorney and two relatives for the episode. The on-camera interviews took place at the Comfort Inn in Wilton this week.
According to news reports 13 years ago, on the morning of July 7, 2003, Janette Osborne was shot and ran to her car. As she started to pull away, she looked back at the house and saw her son, Joshua Osborne standing in the yard and pointing a 30-30 rifle down at her car’s tires. He fired a few shots as she took off for the hospital in an attempt to stop her from leaving.
Janette Osborne never saw who shot her with a .22 caliber rifle as she was hanging the laundry. Investigators discovered that the night before she was shot her son had offered to pay his cousin $15,000 to kill her, because she had refused to sell the farm to him. The farm had long been promised by his father would one day be his.
Family members confirmed that was the intention, but his mother sold the 61-acre dairy farm to a developer instead of to her son. Joshua Osborne’s father, Oliver Osborne, died in January of 2003, seven months before the shooting incident, which left the farm to his wife Janette Osborne.
Initially, Joshua Osborne was charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault, but both those charges were dismissed in January of 2004 after evidence surfaced that called into question who had shot Janette Osborne. The evidence obtained by prosecutors came from letters written between Enman, who was out on bail, and Osborne who was in jail awaiting trial. Prosecutor Andrew Robinson said at the time Enman had also made statements to a witness “that exonerated” Joshua Osborne of firing the shot that wounded his mother.
Osborne pleaded guilty to reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon after he admitted to shooting at his mother’s car tires, soliciting to commit murder for offering his cousin money to kill her and tampering with a witness by corresponding with Enman while he was in jail. Prosecutor James Andrews said in court at Enman’s hearing that she “made admissions to other people that she was actually the one who fired the weapon and injured Janette.” Enman was also charged with attempted murder but that charge was dropped when prosecutors said they couldn’t determine which one had done it because Janette Osborne never saw who shot her. Enman’s sentence, Andrews said at the time reflected “Enman as the possible shooter.”
Nearly two weeks after Osborne was sentenced, Enman pleaded guilty to hindering apprehension or prosecution after admitting she told investigators a few different versions of what happened and that she helped hide the guns used in both shootings in bales of hay. She received the same two-year sentence he did.
The new television series with the working title of Love Kills will probably air early next summer. Soskin described the episode detailing the Osborne case “as part of a series on couples who commit crimes out of love, desperation and all that follows from that.”
Soskin interviewed Joshua Osborne and Donna Enman, who both talked about their childhood, how they met, and versions of what happened that summer. Osborne talked about losing his father to cancer after he went to stay with his mother in Colorado, his mother coming back home to the farm in the spring of 2003 and the “hideous series of developments,” Soskin said, that came after her return.