Judge awards murder suspect $2,500 for a private investigator




Posted on October 8, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 9 at 11:34 AM

SPOKANE, Wash.--An accused Spokane killer is representing himself in court. Prosecutors said they can not recall an alleged murderer doing that in several years. 

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Detectives said Tony Callihan strangled his girlfriend Michelle Koenen in December. Callihan told the judge he is the only person who can clear his name.

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The judge awarded Callihan $2,500 for a private investigator Tuesday. The investigator will be used to help him with his case.

Prosecutors said they did not contest a private investigator or much else in Tuesday’s hearing because they want to do everything possible to ensure Callihan can not appeal  conviction.

“This is unique and the judge has made it perfectly clear, he has a right for counsel and he has chosen not to,” said prosecutor Bob Sargent.

Sargent said he has seen defendants in theft cases and other petty crimes opt to represent themselves. He said he has not seen what Callihan is doing in several years.
“You know, in the 15 years I've been here, I've never heard of anyone charged in a murder case representing themselves,” said Callihan.

Prosecutors got a few victories of their own Tuesday. One of Koenen’s friends said Callihan was abusive to her in the months leading up to her murder. The friend’s testimony will be allowed in trial.
Prosecutors said Callihan’s DNA was found on Koenen’s neck and she was strangled. They also said Callihan told a family member that he may have killed her.