A tip about a man named James VanCallis was forwarded to the FBI’s special unit. It’s unclear if the tip was ignored, but the FBI spent months pursuing every possible lead. James VanCallis was a motorcyclist who visited his brother in Armada on July 24. Police say he was last seen on his bike two hours before he was killed.
The case was initially brought against VanCallis while he was being held in jail on drug charges. He was later found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without parole. He is appealing the verdict. A new trial is scheduled for March 30. Until then, he’ll remain in jail.
The evidence presented against VanCallis was overwhelming, and the jury convicted him of murder. The jury found that the suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Prosecutors argued that VanCallis assaulted Millsap with a bike helmet, dragged her into the woods, and beat her to death as part of a failed rape attempt. The jury felt the case was strong enough and that the prosecution’s assertion that he killed Millsap with a bike helmet was credible.
VanCallis appealed the convictions on grounds of ineffective trial counsel. He claimed that his attorney failed to challenge the admissibility of computer-generated animation at trial, failed to offer an eyewitness identification expert, and failed to object to the prosecution’s closing argument. The appeal was granted after the Michigan Court of Appeals granted leave to appeal VanCallis’ convictions.
VanCallis was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges in the July 2014 slaying of Amber Millsap. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole, but he maintained his innocence throughout the sentencing process. In addition, the witnesses could not positively identify VanCallis, so VanCallis was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
James VanCallis was convicted of felony murder, first-degree murder, and kidnapping. The jury deliberated for seven hours over two days before deciding that VanCallis was guilty on all counts. He also received life sentences for the crimes of kidnapping and attempted criminal sexual assault.
April Millsap was killed on July 24, 2014. She was walking her dog Penny when she was killed. VanCallis, who was on his motorcycle at the time, is accused of crushing her windpipe. The prosecutor’s office says the verdict is a “clear conviction” and said he’s pleased with the outcome.