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April 4, 1997     Cape Gazette
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April 4, 1997

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12 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, April 4- April 10, 1997 Kalivas paints a different picture of grandson Craig By Rosanne Pack As 26-year-old Christopher Craig sat in Sussex County Superior Court, accused of murdering his maternal grandmother, he was only the central hub of a network of family members and friends who have all felt the ripple effect of the crime and result- ing trial. A crime does not touch only the victim and the accused. In this case, as in most, some family members and some friends see things differently; but they were all drawn together because of their ties with Craig. Although she came late to the courtroom scene, perhaps it is Craig's paternal grand- mother, Stella Kalivas, who brought home the reality that the now-convicted murderer is part of a whole, a small piece of a many- Craig Continued frompage 1 second degree it would be an act of recklessness without the intent. The difference between the two charges, he explained, was that with a fu'st degree murder convic- tion, the act is voluntary, commit- ted consciously and is iv, tentional. A second degree charge requires that the act be reckless, cruel, wicked and be committed with a depraved disregard for life. 'l'here was a lot of discussion, not really disagreement, but dis- cussion," said Littleton. "We had to cover every question that any- one had. It's a long process, a long process. There's so much to consider." Defense will appeal As he left the courthouse escort- ed by correctional officers, Craig voiced his feelings to the onlook- ers watching him board the prison van that would return him to Sus- sex Correctional Institution. "A big injustice - this is just the be- ginning!" Craig shouted. "Of course we're disappointed in the verdict," said Stephen Call- away, lead defense attorney. He added, however, thatCraig and co-counselor Merritt "Sam" Burke were pleased that the find- ing was for second, rather than first degree murder, which would have carried a life imprisonment or death sentence. "Chris steadfastly stated he did not do this, and he continues to say he did not do this," said Call- away. "We do plan a review of this. We do think there are a cou- ple of pre-trial motions that should be reviewed." The arduous Delaware Supreme Court appeal process will begin sometime after Craig's May 16 sentencing. Callaway said issues to be included in the appeal are the jury selection process, the trial itself, and the court's decisions on several motion hearings. Early in the proceedings, de- fense attorneys moved to suppress some photographs as evidence be- cause they believed the photos ex- ceeded the scope of a warrant. They asked the court to suppress Federal Bureau of Investigation faceted composite of relatives and relation- ships. 'He is my grandson' After days of testimony of the Florida na- tive's drug usage and sex life, it was Kali- vas who sat erect in the witness chair and said, "We were very close. Our family rela- tionships are very strong. "He is not violent; he is very compassion- ate." She told how her grandson worked in the St. Augustine restaurant that she and her husband ran for almost 40 years. She said that he volunteered to do things that were not his job. He loved to decorate for holi- days. She said the restaurant was frequently the meeting place for Christopher and the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analyses, stating they were con- cerned that the specimens were contaminated and the tests were unreliable., As late as three days before tes- timonies, concluded, defense counselors were arguing with the court that Craig's criminal record not be allowed to be entered into record as prior bad acts, since they believe those acts were unrelated to the murder charge. The state's case hinged on the concept that Craig killed his grandmother while he was high on crack cocaine and in search of money to buy more drugs. The at- torneys asserted Craig had bur- glarized Anderson's home several days preceding her death in an at- tempt to secure money for drugs. The prosecution alleged Craig and his grandmother became em- broiled in a confrontation that ulti- mately led to Craig stabbing his grandmother four times in the throat. Medical Examiner Judith Tobin, M.D., testified in court that Anderson did not die instantly and appeared to have struggled before her death. Shortly after his arrest, police photographed Craig, who bore scratches to his chest. During the motion before the court to disregard Craig's prior misconduct, defense attorney Burke said, "Our client is charged with murder in the first degree..." not charged with burglary or drugs. The law, he said, requires that prior bad acts be material to the case and proved by evidence that is "plain, clear and conclu- sive." Deputy Attorney General James Adkins asked Craig, while he was on the stand, whether he had ever been convicted of any crimes of dishonesty, to which Craig replied that he had been convicted previ- ously of credit card fraud and pet- ty theft. many friends who sought his company. And she shed light on another side of Craig, who is no more one-dimensional than anyone else. After closing arguments in the trial, Kali- vas sat with a former girl friend of Craig's. The young nursing student, Allison 'l"ina" Heinrichs, also came as a character witness for the accused murderer. The two of them drove up from St. Augustine, with Hein- richs serving as chauffeur. Several Example Kitchens On Display Some say good outcome Adkins, although pleased Craig was convicted, was somewhat dis- appointed in the verdict. "We felt it was murder in the first degree," said Adkins. He said that he believed that the jury may have been confused by the instruction pertaining to the second degree murder charge as it pertained to the term "reckless." The waiting game Their conversation was often light, some- times they bantered good naturedly. "Come on, take a tittle walk with me, it'll be good for you," Heinrichs coaxed. "You go, stretch your legs and get some "How could somebody stab some- body recklessly four times...and it not be intentional?" he queried. "He had enough time to dispose of the weapon, dispose of the clothing he was wearing at the time..." Adkins said the strength of his case was based on Craig's behavior both prior to and at the time of the murder. "In every way he conducted himself when the police arrived - that was the strongest part of this case. The meat of it is how can anybody believe he didn't do this?" Adkins said. Callaway asserted the state was not clearly evaluating Craig's be- havior. "How's a person sup- posed to react when a person finds their grandmother dead in a bed? Until you've been in that situa- tion, who knows how you'd react or how you're supposed to react?" said Callaway. Adkins said basing much of the case on corroborative evidence was valid approach to pursuing the conviction. "Having and us- ing circumstantial evidence is not a bad thing," he explained. He noted that in the majority of mur- der cases there isn't a confession, there may not be a murder weapon and it's not common to have a host of eye witnesses. "I'm just glad he didn't get away with the murder of my mother," said Richard Smith, 41, of Port St. Lucie, Fla. Prior to the incident, he said, his mother had confided to him that she believed her grandson had been involved in the burglary that occurred in her home a few days before her mur- der. "She told me she didn't think there was a burglary at all," said Smith. He said that his habit had been to talk to his mother every two or three days, but prior to her .death she had not expressed any fresh air. Just don't take the car! I'd have no way to get home," Kalivas answered. "I would have to walk to the nearest airport." With the younger woman gone, Kalivas became the grandmother again and lapsed into thinking of why she was in Delaware. "I wish they had asked more of Christo- pher's friends to come and testify for him," she said. "He had such a circle of friends. He was a star tennis player...and a golfer. Young people popped in and out of the restaurant all of the time for him, 'Where's Christopher?'... Tm looking for Christo- pher.'... 'Tell Christopher I was by.' "And Tina was fight there with us, like family. We are so close, our family." Kalivas enjoys telling people about the Continued on page 15 concern about her personal safety. However, when he learned of her death and that his nephew was charged with the murder, he didn't doubt the police had arrested the right person. Craig's history, he said, had "been drug riddled." "I would have liked first de- gree," he said. Smith said it was he who called Craig's mother (Smith's sister), Cheryl, to tell her of the verdict. His sister, he said, would attend the sentencing in May. Smith said be was reluctant to tell his other sister, who still is emotionally wrought and does not want to discuss it at all. "Hopefully, this is a closure," said Smith. "Nothing is going to bring her back, but at least he didn't get away scot-free. I feel better." Cape Gazette reporter Rosanne Pack contributed to this story. NEW KITCHENS APRIL 41'H & STH 10 A.M.- 4 P.M. 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