CLEARFIELD – A twice-convicted killer’s second re-trial got under way Monday morning at the Clearfield County Courthouse.
Andrew Callahan was convicted of first degree murder over 10 years ago for the murder of 15-year-old Micah Pollock. Callahan was 16 at the time of the murder.
That decision was overturned by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, which determined that then-Clearfield County President Judge John K. Reilly Jr. (now senior judge) erred when giving instructions to the jury. In his first retrial, Callahan was found guilty on all counts at in May 2007. He faced charges of first-degree murder, third-degree murder, aggravated assault and abuse of a corpse. According to a prior Gant article, this third trial/second re-trial was granted due to the jurors not being appropriately instructed.
Callahan and Pollock were students at Glendale High School at the time.
The boys had traveled to the Pine Run area of Beccaria Township after school. Callahan said the boys were going grouse hunting, and he loaded one shell into a .12-gauge shotgun. Pollock was to flush out grouse for Callahan.
As the two were walking back to the vehicle to leave, Callahan’s attorneys claimed, Pollock chided Callahan about his shooting ability because he missed a bird. Callahan’s testimony from the 1998 trial was presented during the first re-trial, and it pointed out that Callahan said he thought it would be humorous to point the gun at Pollock’s back and then pull the trigger, to pretend to shoot him. Callahan said he expected to hear a “clicking” sound and that Pollock would turn around and be surprised.
Testimony provided during the trial suggested that Callahan smoked marijuana on the day of the shooting. Callahan also claimed that he crushed five mescaline pills – a hallucinogen — and snorted them.
When Callahan pulled the trigger, a shell that had been in the gun was fired, causing a fatal wound to Pollock’s back.
Callahan returned to the site of the killing and drug Pollock’s body behind a car to a beaver pond.
Pollock’s body was found six days later after the pond was drained.
Check back later today for coverage of the Callahan re-trial.