Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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April 18, 2012

Murder trial update: Man testifies about day he learned fiance was murdered

GOSHEN — Jacob Callihan looked at State’s Exhibit 97.

It was a photograph that Callihan had seen before. In fact, he carries a copy of it with him wherever he goes.

The picture shows Callihan with Sheena Kiska, the woman he was engaged to when she was murdered in the apartment they shared.

On the witness stand in Elkhart Circuit Court, Callihan looked at the picture yet again. He was also able to look at the man accused of stabbing his fiance to death.

Callihan’s testimony Wednesday opened the third day of the murder trial of Tyrice J. Halliburton, 30. Prosecutors allege that Halliburton killed Kiska, 23, during a burglary at Bristol’s River Shores Apartments on March 18, 2008.

Kiska was killed in her home, apartment 723. Halliburton lived in 721.

Callihan said in March 2008, he and Kiska were preparing to move out of River Shores. Their apartment had been burglarized the month before. A DVD player was one of the items taken.

Police report that 10 days after Kiska’s murder, Halliburton was discovered with that DVD player in his vehicle. As a result, Halliburton later pleaded guilty to a Class D felony count of receiving stolen property.

In court Wednesday, Callihan said he came home from work on March 18, 2008, to see police vehicles and ambulances at River Shores. He soon realized the problem was in his apartment building. Authorities weren’t letting anyone in or out.

Through a friend, Callihan learned that a neighbor had found a little girl holding a baby. The girl said her mom was hurt. Kiska had two children, a 4-year-old daughter and an infant son.

Callihan said he ran to the back of the apartment building.

“I screamed and hollered for Sheena,” he said, hoping she’d come to the balcony so he could see she was OK.

A police officer asked Callihan who he was.

“Him and a couple officers told me what happened ... That she was dead,” Callihan testified.

Read updated trial coverage online at www.goshennews.com, on our Facebook page or in Thursday’s Goshen News.

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