CASEY CALLAHAN TRIAL: Day ONE
By PARKER FISH • Special to www.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.
Two defense witnesses testified in the morning, and District Attorney John Muehl brought six more witnesses to the stand.
Much of the afternoon centered around what Elizabeth Callahan was doing in front of the truck on Jan. 19, 2000, at a Pennsylvania truck stop, and whether or not the suspect knew what he was doing when his rig ran over his wife.
Welsh testified that he thought the conversation Callahan, Keto and he had was odd, but it was not extremely concerning until after his sister’s death.
Keto recalled Callahan saying of a perfect crime, “All I have to do is run them over in a small town.” After the accident, he continued, Callahan visited him at his home: In short order, he kicked him out.
Another witness was Terry Evans, who worked in administrative offices of Metal Trucking, Oswego, Callahan’s employer. He said he was skeptical of Callahan’s claim that the death was an accident.
In a phone conversation shortly after the accident, Callahan told Evans that he pulled the truck forward to refuel and didn’t realize that his wife was bent over in front of the truck.
Company policy, Evans testified, was to refuel at Oswego headquarters, not on the road, so he was confused as to why Callahan was refueling in the first place.
Callahan wasn’t allowed to have passengers, either, he said.
When asked what the punishment for this sort of violation was, Evans stated: “Immediate termination”. It is believed that the two stopped at the truck stop so that Elizabeth could use the restroom.
Marie Valentine, Elizabeth Callahan’s older sister, testified, “He didn’t treat Lizzie very well … He had an explosive temper.”
“No more than a week or two prior” to her death, Elizabeth learned her husband was having an affair, her sister said. So when the husband invited his wife to ride in the rig, “I did not want her to go, I begged her to stay,” stated Valentine.
Toward the end of her testimony, Valentine was asked if her sister had any habits when riding in the car. “Her biggest habit when riding in the car was taking off her shoes.”
Earlier in the day, truck driver George Borrowdale testified that he had seen Elizabeth tying her shoes in front of the truck shortly before the truck began to move forward.