The second defendant in a rural Lexington homicide case pled guilty to reduced charged in Dawson County District Court Friday morning. Thirty-six-year-old Melissa Callahan of Lexington pled to a misdemeanor charge of Attempted Tampering with Physical Evidence. She was originally charged with being An Accessory to a Felony. Callahan’s codefendent, Jose Regalado-Mendez was sentenced to prison earlier in the week in the same courtroom. In a statement to the court, Dawson County Attorney Liz Waterman said Callahan was present on October 4, 2016 in the Regalado-Mendez residence and observed when Regalado-Mendez shot 37-year-old Jose Hernandez. She further stated that Callahan had assisted with the clean-up of the scene and assisted with bringing in materials to wrap the body of the victim. Consideration was also given for her cooperation in the case of her codefendant. The remains of Hernandez was found outside a residence 2 and one-half miles north of Lexington on December 12, 2016. Sentencing for Callahan was set for March 4, 2019 at 8:30am.
Callahan also entered admissions to two probation violations with an exception for one of the violations involving possession of a controlled substance.
Bond for Callahan was lowered in July 2017 from $200,000 to $20,000 in the homicide case and another one involving a probation violation on a conviction of Possession of a Controlled Substance in 2014. Callahan was released on bond on July 21, 2017 and remained out of custody until March 17, 2018 when she was arrested at 12:30am by Nebraska State Patrol following a traffic stop on Interstate 80 near the Darr interchange in Dawson County. A court record says Callahan was stopped for a stop sign violation and arrested on initial charges of no operator’s license, possession of methamphetamine in a search of her vehicle and possession of an open container of alcohol. A glass pipe with suspected methamphetamine was found after a further search at the Dawson County Jail.