Sunday, March 6, 2011

Serial criminal sentenced to 88 years for rape, confinement of 78 year old woman

Friday, March 4, 2011

By Anna Rochelle, Staff Writer [Greene County [IN] Daily World]

The wheels of justice turned tough Friday [March 4, 2011]on Alex C. Callison, a Bloomfield man who entered several pleas of guilty in a case involving the rape and confinement of a 78-year-old woman in October. He's headed to the Indiana Department of Corrections for 88 years in prison. Even if he racks up good time credit, it would still be 44 years before his release. Callison was 28 years old when he was arrested on Oct. 31.

When Greene Superior Court Judge Dena Martin pronounced the sentence on each of four criminal counts, she ruled that the sentences will be served consecutively, or one after the other.

During a change of plea and sentencing hearing early Monday, Callison entered a plea of guilty to, and was sentenced to:

* Burglary, a class A felony, 47.5 years (the maximum allowed by law is 50 years)

* Rape, a class B felony, 19 years (maximum of 20 years)

* Criminal deviate conduct, a class B felony, 19 years (maximum of 20 years)

* Intimidation, a class D felony, 2.5 years (maximum of 3 years)

Callison was represented in court by Attorney James Riester, serving as a public defender. The State's case was argued by Greene County Deputy Prosecutor Keven McIntosh.

The case initially filed against Callison included five other criminal counts which were dismissed under the terms of a negotiated plea agreement. The agreement left sentencing up to the discretion of the judge.

After the hearing, McIntosh said the Prosecutor's Office was pleased with the sentences. "He got roughly what he would have gotten had this case gone to trial and if he had been found guilty by a jury," said McIntosh noting that under Indiana's sentencing guidelines, some of the charges would have been merged for sentencing purposes.

"I'm happy with the outcome and I think the victim's family is happy with the outcome," said McIntosh.

The defense did not share that satisfaction and requested that a state public defender be appointed to represent Callison in an appeal of the sentence. Since Callison plead guilty, by law he cannot appeal the conviction, but he can appeal the sentence.

McIntosh said the victim did not ever want to see the defendant again and she didn't want to have to go through a trial. But she told him if it became necessary, she would testify. The victim did not attend the sentencing hearing, but was represented by four members of her family who all took the stand: Three daughters and one granddaughter.

 "They did a tremendous job conveying to the judge how this has affected their mother and grandmother and their entire family," said McIntosh. "They should be commended for their heartfelt testimony."

Callison was accused of breaking into a home where the elderly victim lived alone. She thought she heard a knock on her door at 3:30 a.m. but chose not to answer it due to the time of night. Moments later Callison broke in and made his way into her bedroom.

Callison stayed in the home until the next afternoon. During that time, the victim was attacked again and again, forced to make breakfast for the man and she was threatened with knives out of her own kitchen.

She was able to give police a description and later identified Callison in a photo lineup. Crime scene technicians seized numerous items of evidence including the knives, Coke cans he drank from and other materials with DNA evidence and/or fingerprints.

When the victim was first interviewed, a detective said she was "visibly shaken" and became physically ill. During the hearing, two interviews were replayed, one with the victim and one with Callison.

Callison's criminal history was also brought out -- he had one previous conviction on his record, a class C felony burglary involving a break-in at a barber shop in Daviess County. Callison was on parole for that conviction when the current crime was committed.

McIntosh said he thought the defendant did seem sorry for what had happened but that didn't make up for what he did to the victim.

"I do not think that Callison is just a predator. I think this incident was fueled by drugs and alcohol," said McIntosh. "Appearances can be deceiving, but in court, he seemed remorseful. And by admitting guilt, he did save us going through a trial."

When asked about the victim's recovery, McIntosh said this had been a very difficult experience for her. "Since this happened, she's no longer able to stay by herself -- this changed her life greatly," said McIntosh. "She's tough, but this has affected her deeply. I hope she will overcome this, I think she will overcome this. I know she's a resilient lady."

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