RIVERSIDE – Michael Joseph Callahan, 36, is scheduled to be arraigned on second-degree murder today, April 10 at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.

The Riverside County DA’s Office on April 10 filed one count of murder
against the Winchester man for the death of California Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Licon.

If convicted of the murder charge as currently filed, Callahan faces a potential sentence of 15 years to life in state prison.

Murder Charge Filed in Death of CHP Sergeant

Sergeant Steven L. Licon

Sgt. Licon was killed on the afternoon of April 6, 2019, when the vehicle Callahan was driving struck Sgt. Lincon. The fatal collision happened after Sgt. Licon had stopped a 2017 Chrysler 300 for a traffic violation. The Chrysler and Sgt. Licon’s CHP motorcycle were stopped on the
freeway’s right shoulder.

The defendant’s car was traveling along the right shoulder, not in the
designated freeway lanes, according  to the Riverside County DA’s office.

Sgt. Licon was transported by medical helicopter to Inland Valley Medical Center in nearby Wildomar but died from his injuries. He was a 27-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol.

During the subsequent investigation, it was determined that the defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol when he struck Sgt. Licon. The DA’s Office will not be releasing any details as to the alleged level of intoxication at this time.

The defendant is being charged with murder based, in part, on a 2004 misdemeanor DUI conviction he received in Orange County. In that case, he was convicted of Vehicle Code section 23152(b) and sentenced to three years of summary probation.

As a condition of probation, the defendant was required to attend MADD classes, during which he was educated about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Managing Deputy DA Carlos Monagas and Deputy DA Jennifer Garcia
are prosecuting this case, SWF1907727.

Sen. Jeff Stone, R-Riverside County, this week  issued the following statement regarding the death of California Highway Patrol Office Sgt. Licon of the Riverside CHP Area.

“I want to express my condolences to the family of CHP Officer Steve Licon who was killed on Saturday, April 6th on Interstate 15 in Lake Elsinore while on duty protecting the people of Riverside County.

I also want to express my deepest sympathy to the members of our CHP family across California.

This senseless tragedy, the result of an alleged drunk driver, is a reminder of both the unselfish bravery law enforcement officers display every day and the dangers of impaired driving.”

Sergeant Licon served with the CHP for 27 years.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

Image Sources

  • Sergeant Steven L. Licon: ODMP
  • California Highway Patrol: Shutterstock