SPOKANE, Wash.—An accused killer now has a lawyer. A Spokane judge appointed Tony Callihan a lawyer on Friday. Callihan had previously been representing himself in court.
Callihan had made a lot of financial requests while acting as his own lawyer.
Callihan came to court Friday and requested an attorney and that court fund an expert forensic witness. Callihan stated that his expert witness would be out of the country when the trial begins in May. The judge later moved the trial to September. Callihan claimed his reason to delay trial was to accommodate the expert witness.
Prosecutors were not thrilled with the change according to KREM 2's Hayley Guenthner.
Detectives said Callihan, 38, strangled his girlfriend Michelle Koenen in December of 2012 in Spokane. Callihan had fled the area the same day Koenen was found dead in her home. He was found in the parking lot of a California grocery store sleeping in Koenen’s stolen car one week later.
The court gave Callihan at least $2,500 for a private investigator when he was defending himself. That money came from the court’s budget. That same account was tapped when Callihan wanted $1,200 to retain his expert, according to officials.
The forensic expert Callihan wants could cost taxpayers an upward of $10,000, according to numbers KREM 2’s Hayley Guenthner crunched. It is up to Callihan’s public defender to keep the same investigator and expert or start from scratch and find someone new.
KREM 2 News learned all further expenses for the case are no longer on the shoulder’s of the court but instead rest on the public defender’s office. That is also taxpayer funded. KREM 2 News was told Callihan’s expert witness costs do fall in line with typical expert trials in Spokane.