Woman takes plea deal in Dawson County murder

    Melissa Callahan.jpg

    A Lexington woman accused of helping hide the body of a man in rural Dawson County has taken a plea deal in the case.

    Melissa Callahan, 36, was in Dawson County District Court on Friday, where she pleaded guilty to attempted tampering with physical evidence, a misdemeanor. In exchange for her plea, prosecutors lowered an accessory to a felony charge.

    She is scheduled to be sentenced at 8:30 a.m. on March 4.

    According to the Dawson County Sheriff's Office, Callahan was allegedly with 42-year-old Jose Regalado-Mendez when the murder took place and helped hide the body from the crime scene.

    Judge James Doyle sentenced Jose Regalado-Mendez, 42, to 40 to 45 years in prison with credit for 733 days served after being convicted of manslaughter and use of a firearm to commit a felony. Prosecutors lowered a charge of first-degree murder in exchange for his guilty plea in the October 2016 slaying of 37-year-old Jose Hernandez.

    Prosecutors say Regalado-Mendez shot Hernandez and hid the body near a farmhouse north of Lexington. The remains were found Dec. 12, 2016, while officers were serving a search warrant.

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