Bomb suspect faces abuse sentencing | SierraSun.com

Bomb suspect faces abuse sentencing

Kelly Ruane
Sierra Sun

Firebomb suspect Michael Callaghan of Truckee received a break Tuesday, when a Nevada County Superior Court judge lopped off $150,000 from the quarter-million-dollar bail imposed after his July 25 arrest.

Judge Albert P. Dover reduced Callaghan’s bail, but the lower bail may come too late for Callaghan, 37, who faces sentencing on Tuesday for a felony charge of domestic violence, for which he previously pleaded no contest. A judge withdrew his bail for the abuse case two days after the bomb arrest.

Before his sentencing, Callaghan will also attend a status conference on four felony counts stemming from the explosion July 25 of a balloon filled with volatile gas.

“It’s an opportunity for all the participants, the defense, the [district attorney] and the judge, to discuss the case to see if there is a way to settle the case without a hearing,” said John Ward, a Tahoe City attorney who represents Callaghan, in an interview Thursday.

Ward will have to rebut the prosecution’s contention that the firebomb, which was set off by a trail of flammable liquid, could have started a wildfire.

“[The firebomb] is going to appear to be along the lines of a stupid prank, but it’s much more serious because of the dry timber and the fire area as evident of the Angora Fire,” Deputy District Attorney William Cornell said in a phone interview.

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Cornell is prosecuting Callaghan in both the domestic-abuse and bomb cases.

Callaghan, a building contractor, was arrested the night of July 25, after Glenshire residents reported a loud explosion. Police stopped Callaghan in his truck not far from the scene.

Meanwhile, Callaghan is also involved in a custody battle with his former girlfriend over their 4-year-old child.

Callaghan is being held in Nevada County Jail.