News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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John Muehl

Jury Deliberations Begin in Murder Trial
CASEY CALLAHAN TRIAL: Day FOUR

Jury Deliberations

Begin in Murder Trial

District Attorney John Muehl gives his closing statement in the trial against Casey Callahan, accused of killing his wife Elizabeth in January 2000. (Parker Fish/AllOTESEGO.com)

By PARKER FISH • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – With a total 22 witnesses called, including suspect Casey Callahan, the prosecution and defense gave their closing arguments in the murder trial against Callahan, who was charged with killing his wife, Elizabeth Welsh Callahan, at a truck stop on January 19, 2000.

“Four tires ran directly down the center of her body,” said District Attorney John Muehl in his closing statement. “I submit you can’t do that by accident. This plan was tailor-made for Elizabeth.”

But Callahan’s defense argued that the jury is tasked with deciding if jurisdiction allowed Elizabeth’s death in Pennsylvania, which Callahan maintained was an accident, could be prosecuted in New York. “There is no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that this case belongs in New York State,” said William Schebaum, Callahan’s attorney. “I urge you not to allow speculation, emotion, or even a dislike of the defendant to be a substitute to fact.”

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Elizabeth’s Last Words: ‘I Love You’ Investigator Testifies
CASEY CALLAHAN TRIAL: Day THREE

Victim’s Words Before Death,

Investigator Says: ‘I Love You’

COOPERSTOWN – Investigator Sean Ralph testified that Casey Callahan, currently on trial for the 2000 murder of his wife, Elizabeth Welsh Callahan, told him that her final words to her husband were “‘I love you, I’ll see you on the other side’,” allegedly referring to the opposite side of the Dandy Mart truck stop where Callahan was to pick her up.

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Killing Intrigued Callahan, 2 Former Friends Testify

CASEY CALLAHAN TRIAL: Day ONE

Killing Intrigued Suspect,

2 Former Friends Testify

By PARKER FISH • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Casey Callahan, right, is led out of the Otsego County Courthouse by a sheriff’s deputy at the conclusion of the first day of his trial. An Attica inmate, he is currently being housed at the Otsego County Jail. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)

COOPERSTOWN – Casey Callahan, on trial for murder in Otsego County Court, discussed with two friends why and how he would kill someone shortly before the 2000 death of his wife, the two testified this afternoon.

“I’ve always wanted to know what it felt like” to kill someone, one witness, Joseph Keto, Oneonta, on the stand this afternoon, recalled hearing Callahan say.

“He said he would run someone over with a truck,” said the other witness, Patrick Welsh, Goodyear Lake, brother of the alleged murder victim, Elizabeth Welsh Callahan, Casey’s wife.

Callahan’s trial, which began with opening statements this morning, recessed for lunch, then testimony continued until 4:30.

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Judge Denies Underwood Request For Change Of Counsel

Judge Denies Underwood

Request For New Attorney

Joshua P. Underwood is led into Otsego County Court this morning, where a scheduled felony hearing was closed, pending the Grand Jury’s decision on whether or not to indict. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • for www.allotsego.com

Judge Lucy P. Bernier denied Underwood’s request for change of counsel.

ONEONTA – Judge Lucy P. Bernier denied Joshua Underwood’s request for a change of counsel during his appearance in Oneonta City Court this morning.

Underwood, who had been arrested and charged with murder in the New Year’s Day death of Mark J. Morrison, 52, had written a letter to Judge Bernier, dated Jan. 8, to request the change, saying his lawyer, Assistant Public Defender James Ferrari, spoke to the press after he asked him not to.

“Mr. Ferrari is an experienced counsel,” said Bernier. “I see no basis to this claim, and am denying this request.”

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AFTER 16 YEARS, MURDER CHARGED

AFTER 16 YEARS,

MURDER CHARGED

D.A. Says Former Goodyear Lake

Man Killed Wife In Pennsylvania

Casey Callahan
Casey Callahan

COOPERSTOWN – After 16 years, Casey James Callahan, 50, has been arrested and charged with the murder of his wife, Elizabeth.

Otsego County District Attorney John M. Muehl annouced a few minutes ago he believes that Callahan, a Unadilla native, originated the plan to kill his wife while they were living in Goodyear Lake.  On Jan. 19, 2000, according to a press release, Callahan ran over Elizabeth with a tractor trailer in the parking lot of the Dandy Mini Mart # 19 in Sayre, Pa., just off Route 17’s Exit 59A at Wilawan, west of Binghamton.

“We believe he took her there to kill her,” said Muehl.  “We believe the intent originated here in Otsego County.”

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Milford Man Arrested For Child Rape

Milford Man Charged With Child Rape

MILFORD – A 45-year-old Milford man was arrested and charged with child rape after the Otsego County District Attorney’s office received information that he was abusing an underage female, it was announced over the weekend.

Kevin William Blush was arrested April 29 after investigators at the DA’s office received a tip that he was having sexual contact with a girl under the age of 15.

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20-20 Explores Neighbors’ Feud In Hartwick That Let To Arrests

20-20 Explores Neighbors’ Feud

In Hartwick That Led To Arrests

ABC's 20-20 "Bad Neighbors" episode Friday evening featured Gene Ellis waving "posted" signs and an interview with neighbors Gene Sohacki and Katherine Gannon for filing too many complaints.
ABC’s 20-20 “Bad Neighbors” episode Friday evening featured Gene Ellis waving “posted” signs and an interview with neighbors Paul Sohacki and Katherine Gannon (inset) for filing too many complaints against Ellis.

HARTWICK – A couple living on 12 acres in Nersesian Road, Town of Hartwick, complained so often about their neighbor Gene Ellis, who lives on 52 acres next door, that they were arrested, according to a report on ABC’s 20-20 Friday evening.

District Attorney John Muehl is featured, defending his decision.

It all started, the couple Paul Sohacki and Katherine Gannon recall, because Ellis’ driveway crossed a sliver of their land, according to 20-20 interview.

SEE THE WHOLE VIDEO FROM LAST NIGHT’S 20-20 ON ABC

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