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News of Otsego County

Casey Callahan

Callahan admits to killing wife

Callahan admits to killing wife
as part of plea to forgo new trial

By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Casey Callahan stands to await resentencing Monday, May 3, in Otsego County Court in Cooperstown. Callahan pleaded guilty to manslaugher in the 2000 death of his wife, Elizabeth Welsh. His 2017 conviction in the case was overturned last year. (Greg Klein/AllOTSEGO.com)

Casey Callahan pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the second degree Monday, May 3, in Otsego County Court, ending, for the second time, the criminal proceeding concerning the 2000 death of Callahan’s wife Elizabeth Welsh Callahan.

Callahan, 54, admitted Monday that he backed over his wife with his truck in Sayre, Pennsylvania in 2000, killing her. He told Judge John Lambert, “I intended to cause the death of Elizabeth Callahan and I did so with my actions. I am sorry that it happened. I apologize to her and her family.”

Callahan will serve four to 12 years in state prison, but the term is consecutive, or in addition, to 12.5 year sentence he is currently serving in a state facility for a 2013 sexual assault of a minor.

State Appellate Court Overturns Callahan Murder Conviction

State Appellate Court

Overturns Callahan

Murder Conviction

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Casey Callahan, convicted of murder early this year in his wife’s death, has had his conviction overturned by the Appellate Division, state Supreme County. (AllOTSEGO.com photo)

COOPERSTOWN – District Attorney John Muehl doesn’t see how overturning Casey Callahan’s guilty verdict is in the interest of justice.

D.A. Muehl

“This ruling was made ‘in the interest of justice,’” he said. “But their interest of justice is for a murderer, not a victim, who was a loving mother and a member of a close-knit family.”

The Appellate Division, Third Department, overturned

Callahan’s 2017 conviction for murder in the second degree in the 2000 killing of his wife, Elizabeth Welsh, on the grounds that not enough evidence was presented at trial.

“Because the evidence of the defendant’s guilt was not overwhelming, there must be a new trial,” the decision read.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Muehl.

Callahan was found guilty of the murder of Elizabeth after a four-day trial, where Muehl laid out the case that Callahan deliberately ran his wife over with his 18 wheeler in the parking lot of the Dandy Mart #19 in Sayre, Penn, just over the state line from Binghamton.

“I can kill someone and get away with it,” Muehl said in his opening remarks at trial, using what he described as the exact words of Callahan to Elizabeth’s brother, Patrick Welsh, just four months before her death. “I’d take somebody for a ride, stop at the Dandy Mart just off Route 17, just inside Pennsylvania, and run them over. They’ve got a Mayberry police department. They’re understaffed. They wouldn’t investigate an accident. That’s what they’d call it – an accident.”

At the trial, multiple witnesses testified to Callahan’s abuse of his wife, including her psychiatrist, Dr. Joan Bachorik, who said that the day before Elizabeth’s death, she told her that she was afraid Callahan would kill her.

But in the ruling, the defendant, Callahan, challenged Amanda Travis’ testimony that she saw him abuse her aunt as “beyond the scope of the Molineux application” because the prosecution requested to offer proof of verbal and emotional abuse by Callahan, but Travis also testified to witnessing him kick Elizabeth in the stomach.

“As such, the niece’s testimony, some of which was hearsay, exceeded the scope of the People’s Molineux application and deprived the defendant of a fair trial,” the ruling read.

Although no objections were made to Travis’ testimony by the defense during the trial, the judges still acknowledged that her testimony was unfair to Callahan. “Despite this infirmity, we deem it appropriate under the particular circumstances of this case to exercise in the interest of justice jurisdiction and reverse the judgment.”

“Was I supposed to object to myself?” said Muehl. “The defense didn’t object and had no reason to.”

The judges upheld two of the challenges, including the jurisdiction issue. Callahan picked up Elizabeth at their home in Goodyear Lake before he drove her to XXX, where he ran her over with his truck as she tied her shoe.

“The jury correctly concluded that the People established beyond a reasonable doubt that defendants ‘conduct in New York…manifested [his] intent to commit the crime.”

Muehl blamed “unqualified people” on the appellate bench. “The problem is that the governor has appointed judges who have never tried a jury trial,” he said. “How are you supposed to review proceedings if you’ve never been involved with one?”

Callahan had been sentenced to 25-to-life for Elizabeth’s murder. In addition to the murder charge, Callahan is already serving a 12 ½-year sentence in Attica for molesting a child in 2013. With his case now overturned, he will be released in 2025.

Muehl has not yet decided whether he will seek a new trial.

“At this point, we’re still looking at options,” he said. “But due to the potential loss of witnesses, I may not be able to retry.”

Court Overturns Murder Verdict v. Casey Callahan

Court Overturns

Murder Verdict

v. Casey Callahan

Husband Had Been Found Guilty

17 Years After Wife Was Run Over

By LIBBY CUDMORE • 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 2017 trial.(Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)

COOPERSTOWN – Casey Callahan’s 2017 conviction for murder in the second degree in the 2000 killing of his wife, Elizabeth Callahan, has been overturned by the Appellate Division, Third Department, according to a decision announced Friday.

“Because the evidence of the defendant’s guilt was not overwhelming, there must be a new trial,” the decision read.

Casey Callahan Gets 25-To-Life For Wife’s Murder

CALLAHAN GETS

25 YEARS TO LIFE

Man Found Guilty Of Killing Wife

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Casey Callahan on the first day of his trial. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)

COOPERSTOWN – Casey Callahan, 52, who was found guilty of the January 2000 murder of his wife Elizabeth Welsh in the county’s first murder trial in decades, was sentenced to 25-to-life by Judge John F. Lambert during his hearing yesterday on Otsego County Court.

“It’s the maximum sentence, and I’m satisfied,” said District Attorney John Muehl. “This was a cold, calculated, pre-meditated murder.”

“I ask the court to consider the magnitude and impact of this crime that took Elizabeth’s life and what it has done to her son and family,” said her sister, Marie Valentine, in a statement to the judge.  “I would ask your honor to consider sentencing Casey Callahan to the maximum sentence under the law, as any time he spends incarcerated is nothing compared to what he did to Elizabeth and what her family has and will experience in our lifetime.”

CALLAHAN FOUND GUILTY

BULLETIN

17 YEARS LATER,

CALLAHAN GUILTY

Casey Callahan

COOPERSTOWN – A jury this morning found Casey Callahan guilty of murder in the second degree for the Jan.19, 2000 death of his wife, Elizabeth Welsh Callahan.

The verdict came in around 11:30 a.m. District Attorney John Muehl prosecuted the case throughout the week, calling 21 witnesses. In the final hours of the trial yesterday morning, Callahan himself was called to the stand by his attorney, William Schebaum.

ANATOMY OF A MURDER TRIAL

DAY ONE: Monday, Sept. 11

• IN OPENING REMARKS, District Attorney Muehl paraphrases suspect Callahan: “I can kill someone and get away with it.”

• TRUCK DRIVER George Borrowdale describes witnessing Callahan’s rig running over wife Elizabeth

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.”

Callahan: ‘I Wasn’t The Best Husband’

Callahan: ‘I Wasn’t

The Best Husband’

With Suspect Taking Stand In

Own Defense, Testimony At End

Murder defendant Casey Callahan of Goodyear Lake took the stand in his own defense this afternoon; (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.,com)

By PARKER FISH • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Accused of running over his wife with his rig 17 years ago, Casey Callahan took the stand in his own defense as three days of testimony came to an end.

“I wasn’t the best husband,” Callahan told his lawyer, Public Defender Bruce Maxson. “I could say mean things at times, but I loved her.” When Maxson questioned him about earlier testimony that alleged domestic abuse, Callahan responded, “I’ve never hit her. I’ve never kicked her.”

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.

Allegations of Physical Abuse Emerge in Niece’s Testimony

CASEY CALLAHAN TRIAL: Day TWO

Allegations of Physical Abuse

Emerge in Niece’s Testimony

By PARKER FISH • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Elizabeth Welsh Callahan allegedly told her niece, Amanda Travis, that her husband Casey Callahan had kicked her in the stomach while she was pregnant with their son, Connor.

“I didn’t like the way he treated Lizzy,” Travis said during her testimony as part of this afternoon’s proceedings in the case against Callahan, who is charged with Elizabeth’s murder.

Elizabeth in ‘Severe Emotional Distress’ Before Death, Doctor Says

CASEY CALLAHAN TRIAL: Day TWO

Doctor Alleges Elizabeth In

‘Severe Emotional Distress’

By PARKER FISH • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Casey Callahan, left, listens to witness testimony alongside his attorney, Bruce Maxson. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)

COOPERSTOWN – The day before she died, Elizabeth Welsh Callahan was under “severe emotional distress” stemming from her marriage to Casey Callahan, her physician, Dr. Joan Bachorik, testified this morning in her husband’s murder trial resulting from her death at a truck stop in Pennsylvania in January 2000.

“I remember her because she was probably the most pathetic person I had ever seen in my office,” said Bachorik.

Records showed that the day before her death, Elizabeth had an appointment with Bachorik, during which the doctor offered to call the police on her behalf. “But she refused out of fear that he would kill her,” she said.

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.

AllOTSEGO.com Exclusive: Husband On Trial In Death of Wife

AllOTSEGO.com EXCLUSIVE

17 YEARS LATER,

HUSBAND TRIED

IN DEATH OF WIFE

Casey Callahan watches this morning’s proceedings in Courtroom #1 in Cooperstown. The former Goodyear Lake man is charged with murder in the death of his wife 17 years ago. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Muehl, Maxson Deliver Opening Arguments

As Otsego County Court Proceedings Start

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – District Attorney John Muehl didn’t mince words this morning in his opening statement in the murder trial of Casey Callahan, formerly of Goodyear Lake, now an Attica inmate.

“I can kill someone and get away with it,” Muehl said. “I’d take somebody for a ride, stop at the Dandy Mart just off Route 17, just inside Pennsylvania, and run them over. They’ve got a Mayberry police department. They’re understaffed. They wouldn’t investigate an accident. That’s what they’d call it – an accident.”

Callahan Trial Date Set For March

Callahan Trial Date

Set For March 27

Casey Callahan

COOPERSTOWN – Casey Callahan is scheduled to go to trial on March 27 in the alleged murder of his wife, Elizabeth, according to District Attorney John Muehl.

He was charged last June with her murder, which Muehl believes was planned in Otsego County. Callahan is currently serving 12 1/2 years at the Attica Correctional Facility for a conviction on criminal sexual act in the first degree.

DA’s Office: Callahan Trial Likely In 2017

DA’s Office: No Trial

For Callahan ’til 2017

COOPERSTOWN – Casey Callahan, 50, will likely go to trial in 2017 after being arrested in June for the alleged killing of his wife Elizabeth 16 years before in Pennsylvania,  according to Investigator Mike Ten Eyck at the county District Attorney’s Office.

“There’s not as much of a rush; he’s not sitting in the county jail, he’s already serving a sentence in Attica,” said Ten Eyck, after Callahan was back at the county courthouse today to for “a monthly return date.”  His next visit here will be Oct. 3.

Accused In Wife’s Death, Suspect Is Back In Court

Accused In Wife’s Death,

Suspect Is Back In Court

Casey Callahan, who is serving time in Attica for another crime.
Casey Callahan, who is serving time in Attica for another crime.

COOPERSTOWN – Casey J. Callahan, 50, who was arrested in June, accused of killing his wife Elizabeth 16 years before in Pennsylvania, is in court for a hearing at this hour.

While the case had been handled in Pennsylvania, District Attorney John M. Muehl concluded that, since Callahan, a Unadilla native, originated the plan to kill his wife while they were living in Goodyear Lake, he has jurisdistion.

Muehl is alleging that, on Jan. 19, 2000, 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.

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