The Desert IndependentTM
Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001
Murder charge filed in death of California Highway Patrol Sergeant
April 17, 2019
RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif – On Wednesday, April 10, the Riverside County DA’s Office filed one count of murder against a Winchester man for the death of California Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Licon. Michael Joseph Callahan, DOB: 5-19-82, is scheduled to be arraigned on the second-degree murder charge in Dept. S204 at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta. If convicted as currently charged, he faces a potential sentence of 15 years to life in state prison.
Sgt. Licon was killed on the afternoon of April 6, 2019, when he was struck by the vehicle driven by the defendant. The fatal collision happened after Sgt. Licon had stopped a 2017 Chrysler 300 for a traffic violation. The Chrysler and Sgt. Licon’s CHP motorcycle were stopped on the freeway’s right shoulder. The defendant’s car was traveling along the right shoulder, not in the designated freeway lanes.
Sgt. Licon was transported by medical helicopter to Inland Valley Medical Center in nearby Wildomar but died from his injuries. He was a 27-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol.
During the subsequent investigation, it was determined that the defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol when he struck Sgt. Licon. The DA’s Office will not be releasing any details as to the alleged level of intoxication at this time.
The defendant is being charged with murder based, in part, on a 2004 misdemeanor DUI conviction he received in Orange County. In that case, he was convicted of Vehicle Code section 23152(b) and sentenced to three years of summary probation. As a condition of probation, the defendant was required to attend MADD classes, during which he was educated about the dangers of drinking and driving.
This case, SWF1907727, is being prosecuted by Managing Deputy DA Carlos Monagas and Deputy DA Jennifer Garcia.
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