GUILTY

March 1, 2013

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By Lisa Enos
MCP Correspondent

LUDINGTON — It has been said, “If you give some people enough rope, they will eventually hang themselves.” That may have just happened in the case of the People vs. Mark McCallum who was tried in court this week for kidnapping his two children last February. Any chance McCallum had to win over the jury probably went out the window when he decided to make people look bad on the witness stand rather than prove his case or endear himself to the jury.

Mark McCallum has been found Guilty on both counts of kidnapping.

At times it was difficult to remember it was not Sharon Kludy on trial for alleged child abuse as we were reminded constantly of bruises on the couples’ then 3-year-old boy. The court heard conflicting testimony about the boy’s verbal abilities, which could have played a key role as his statements that, “Mommy did it,” were not accepted as fact by Child Protective Services. Kludy testified that the boy had speech problems. Patricia Keppner and Mike Morrow described situations in which the boy was extremely talkative. Others described him as shy.

Other times it was difficult to remember that Anna Appledorn of Child Protective Services was not on trial. She contradicted some of her testimony about the length of three bruises on the boy’s thigh which were the subject of an investigation, with the caveat the second time she talked about the length of the bruises she said whatever she said before she must have misstated.

Anna Appledorn said the boy wasn’t a reliable source of information because he didn’t know the difference between the truth and a lie.

But the trial was about kidnapping — custodial interference, and any threat to the children would have to have been actual and immediate at the time Mark McCallum chose to drive his children to Key West last February, for his ‘out of harm’s way’ defense to have held any weight

Prosecutor Paul Spaniola moved to revoke McCallum’s $250,000 bond. The court agreed. Sentencing Tuesday April 2, and 2:15 p.m.

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