Appeal Process Begins for Callie Long - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/20/05

Appeal Process Begins for Callie Long

A Lubbock woman received a two year prison term, but 90 days later she still was not serving it. Callie Long is home because she appealed her conviction of intoxication manslaughter. The crime was committed two years ago when she hit bicyclist, Brett Walrath on the night of August 27th. Police arrested Long and charged her with intoxication assault.

On January 27th, exactly five months after the crash, Walrath died from his injuries. That led a Lubbock grand jury to indict Long on a stiffer charge of intoxication manslaughter, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

In April 2005, the case went to trial. After nine days of testimony, a Lubbock jury found her guilty. Her sentence was two years in prison and a $10 thousand fine. At that time Long's attorney requested she remain free on bond as he began the appeals process.

The first request was for a new trial. Long's attorney claimed the jury may have misunderstood the charges and that a victim's monument may have factored in to the jury's verdict. That attempt failed, forcing Long to move to the next option, appealing her sentence.

So what happens next? The morning of Thursday, July 20th, Long spent 17 minutes in jail. She was booked in at 11:22 and bailed out at 11:39 on a $20,000 bond. She had until July 22nd to appeal her conviction. As of July 20th, she's served less than a day of jail time.

It's standard procedure that Long will not serve anymore time until the appeal process is finished, which could take up to a year. Prosecuting Attorney, Rod Hobson said it's frustrating that a convicted felon is not in jail. However he expected the appeal and respects the process.

Hobson said, "It's hard to talk to a lawyer and ask me to be disappointed in the process. I thinks he spent 12 minutes in jail. The jury ordered her to spend two years in jail and it's my job to see the jury's decision is carried out."

Hobson said the appeals court in Amarillo approves about 3% of such appeals. If it's approved, Long will likely get another trial.

If the appeal is denied she has one other option, she can petition for discretionary review with the state. Hobson said the chances of that being approved is slim as well.

NewsChannel 11 spoke with Long's attorney, Dan Hurley, who declined to comment on the appeal.

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