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Obama’s early release program: Collateral damage, foreseen circumstances and electoral consequences…


 “You know, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.”  — Barack Hussein Obama, 2008 —

Meanwhile the “hits’ will keep on coming as, Again: Obama Commutes 57 More Drug Offender Sentences and DOJ Decides It Wouldn’t Call People ‘Felons’ Or ‘Convicts’ Because It Hurts Their Feelings

Man charged with killing woman, 2 daughters had early prison release

(Edited) The man charged with killing an ex-girlfriend and two of her children in a North Side stabbing rampage early on Tuesday likely would have been deep into a 12 1/2-year federal prison sentence if sentencing guidelines for convicted crack dealers had remained unchanged.

Wendell L. Callahan, 35, twice benefited from changes in federal sentencing guidelines, which reduced his sentence by a total of more than four years, from the 150 months he was first given in 2007, to 110 months in 2008 including time served, and 100 months in 2011.

Columbus police charged Callahan on Tuesday with three counts of murder in the deaths of ex-girlfriend Erveena Hammonds, 32, and her daughters, Breya Hammonds, 7, and Anaesia Green, 10. (How many more like this  can be directly attributed to Obama’s actions?)

Police said he went to Hammonds’ apartment in the 900 block of Atlantic Avenue and killed all three people with a(n) (assault)  knife. He was still in the apartment when Hammonds’ current boyfriend, Curtis C. Miller, arrived unexpectedly, police said.

Miller and Callahan fought, and both were stabbed in the ensuing struggle.

A wounded Callahan ran from the apartment building and was found in the Continent Village Apartments off Busch Boulevard by officers who responded to the 1:19 a.m. call about the (mass) stabbings, police said.

Miller, 38, was treated at a local hospital and released. Callahan remained hospitalized on Tuesday night.

His mother told The Dispatch that he was unconscious and hasn’t talked with anyone about what occurred.

“They haven’t heard his side of the story,” said Elaine Beard, 54.

Sgt. Rich Weiner, a spokesman for the Police Division, said police were withholding many details of the triple homicide to protect the case, but detectives alleged in court documents that statements from several witnesses are among the evidence that led to charges against Callahan.

“It was obvious this was a brutal attack,” Weiner said. “We don’t know if he was let in or forced his way in.”

In a harrowing call to 911, neighbors implored police to hurry. One woman who was nearly incomprehensible in her grief eventually passed the phone to a man, who said, “There’s children with their throats slit.”

“The guy who did it ran away,” he said in the call, just as the first officers arrived.

Hammonds and Callahan had a history going back more than 10 years. In a Columbus police report from 2006, taken while Callahan’s federal case was pending, Hammonds said that he had beaten and choked her so severely that she thought he “would have killed her if (a) good Samaritan didn’t pass by.”

She said in the report that Callahan was her live-in boyfriend of about a year and “has been stressed because he is facing federal time.”

The changes to his federal sentence came as part of retroactive attempts by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to rectify sentencing disparities between (violent) dealers who sold crack and those who dealt powdered cocaine.

In a 2011 motion for Callahan’s last reduction, Callahan’s attorney said federal prosecutors agreed that Callahan’s good behavior in prison and other factors led both sides “to conclude that his early release did not present a danger to the safety of the public.”

Federal prison records show that Callahan was released on Aug. 8, 2014. If the new federal guidelines hadn’t gone through, he likely would have been in prison at least until late this year, even with time off for good behavior.

Hammonds’ relatives were gathered at a home near Mock Park on Tuesday afternoon, but a man who identified himself as a brother said they were not ready to talk about the slayings.

Breya and Anaesia were students at Salem Elementary on the North Side. Anaesia was in the fifth grade and Breya was in the first grade, according to Columbus City Schools.

It was not clear whether Callahan and Hammonds had resumed their relationship after his release from federal prison, but Weiner said it had ended at some point prior to the attack.

Birth records show that Hammonds had four children; the girls who were killed, as well as an 8-year-old daughter and a 13-year-old son.

Neither Callahan nor Miller is the father of any of the four children, according to birth records. It is not clear where the surviving children were on Tuesday, but police said no other children had been in the apartment when Callahan showed up.

Prior to his U.S. District Court case, Callahan was convicted in connection with a nonfatal shooting in 1999 and another drug case. His mother, however, said the murder accusations were out of character (as proven in his recent murders).

“He wouldn’t do that to her and her kids,” she said. (he diddentdonuffin’)

At CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence, staff members expected the homicides to cause an uptick in calls to the local hot-line.

“For victims who already are fearful, something like this just reinforces the amount of danger they’re in,” said Sue Villilo, the agency’s executive director. “We know that after this, we’ll see a spike in phone calls, both from victims and from those concerned about them.”

The potential for severe injury and death is often underestimated, she said, even when the couple and their family and friends suspect that a relationship is abusive. (self-protection is not an option)

“People would say they couldn’t imagine this, yet there are often signs,” (and reasons they were in prison in the first place)Villilo said.

[Byline Theodore Decker]
The Columbus Dispatch (edited) Wednesday January 13, 2016 


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