CLEARFIELD – The prosecution wrapped their case up on Wednesday in the Andrew Callahan re-trial.
The jury heard testimony from a forensic toxicologist as well as the investigating state trooper on the case.
Callahan is on trial for the murder of Micah Pollock on Nov. 5, 1997. Both were teens at the time. Callahan was tried as an adult and was convicted of first-degree murder, but a new trial was granted by a higher court.
The toxicologist stated that he interpreted from the statements given by witnesses that Callahan was capable of forming a reasonable intent to kill. Callahan’s defense in the case is that he was incapable of forming a reasonable intent to kill because of the drugs he was on when the incident is alleged to have occurred.
Under cross-examination the defense brought up the fact that the people who witnessed Callahan the night of the incident were possibly under the influence of drugs as well. When asked if that could have changed their perceptions of how Callahan was driving or acting, the toxicologist said it could. Defense counsel also asked whether signs of mescaline use could be perceived by the untrained eye. The toxicologist said that some could, such as hyperflexy, but others such as hyper-salivation could not.
Also questioned was State Trooper Van Keys. He said he became involved in the case after prior investigation from state police at Ebensburg indicated that the bulk of the leads were in Clearfield County. Keys also said there was large community involvement in the search for Pollock.
He said that the investigation started out as questioning but became a localized search after a fireman said he heard from a logger that he saw two people in the Pine Run area, one wearing a green jacket. Keys said they eventually talked with the logger who related that he and his brother were hauling logs when they saw Joe Callahan’s blue Bronco.
The search then went to the Pine Run area. A plastic garbage can was found that still had a Dollar General sticker on it. Police questioned workers at the Dollar General and learned that Andrew Callahan had purchased the can. Scent dogs were also called in. Keys said that the dogs made some indicative hits on the road to the beaver dam where Pollock was found. Cadaver dogs were then brought in and made hits on the water.
The dam was drained, and Pollock’s body was discovered on Nov. 11.
According to Keys, in a statement Callahan gave to him in October 1998, Callahan admitted to shooting Pollock, but that it was accidental.
He told Keys that he had smoke marijuana after school and ingested five pills of mescaline before going to Pollock’s. He related to the trooper that the mescaline kicked in before he picked Pollock up.
He told Keys that he and Pollock were waiting to pick up beer for the evening from two people who were old enough to purchase it. Keys related that Callahan told him that they decided to waste some time hunting grouse in the Pine Run area. They were working on flushing grouse, had no luck and to make their back up. They became stuck in mud, laughed about it an continued on. When they reached an area of brush Pollock flushed a grouse out, Callahan fired but missed. Callahan said Pollock made the statement that Callahan couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn.
Callahan said he thought it would be funny to point the gun and pull the trigger while Pollock’s back was turned. He pulled the trigger, and the gun fired.
Callahan told the trooper at another point that the gun was unloaded when he took from the gun cabinet at his residence and that he chambered a single round to shoot the grouse.
Keys said that Callahan shook Pollock and told the trooper that he was in total shock. He also told the trooper that he was thinking that it could have been from the drugs. Callahan eventually covered the body with dead tree branches and fled the scene. He went back home and borrowed his mother’s car, but did not tell her because he was scared and shocked.
He went to Pollock’s body with garbage bags to try and put the body in the bags, but that did not work. Callahan told the trooper he rolled Pollock’s body over an embankment then left.
Later in the night he then went out and partied with friends and acquaintances.
The next day he smoked marijuana because he could not deal with the body. Keys said that Callahan told him he took clothesline rope to help move the body. Keys said that Callahan told him he wanted to get rid of the body so he would never have to deal with it again.
He related to the officer that he tied Pollock’s body and tried to drag him up the embankment. When that did not work he tied the rope to his mother’s car bumper and brought Pollock up with the car. He then disposed of Pollock’s body in the beaver dam.
Defense counsel asked Keys if Callahan knew about any relationship between Kaylee (Peacok) McLellen. Keys said he told him he did not. Keys said that Callahan also told him that he drove impaired and hunted impaired as well.
Keys said that Callahan told him he felt horrible about it, and that he would for the rest of his life.
It was also pointed out that Callahan claimed to be in an hallucinogenic state while trying to conceal and cover the body up.