Father to serve four years in prison for 'reign of terror' against son's foster parents
Timothy and Dawn Londregan described the "reign of terror" they experienced after becoming foster parents for the infant son of Michael E. Callanan during Callanan's sentencing hearing Monday in New London Superior Court.
Callanan, 40, formerly of East Lyme, had pleaded no contest to threatening to rape Mrs. Londregan and shoot Mr. Londregan, to calling them hundreds of times, threatening police officers and their families, and to spitting on an attorney following a family court proceeding.
He had fled to Tennessee while his trial was underway in May, and upon being captured by a bail agent and returned to Connecticut also pleaded no contest to failure to appear in court.
Judge Hillary B. Strackbein sentenced him to four years in prison followed by three years of probation, during which he will be monitored electronically. She ordered him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and treatment while on probation and prohibited him from using drugs and alcohol.
Strackbein issued a lifetime protective order that prohibits Callanan from having contact with the victims. She told him that as a convicted felon, he is prohibited from possessing guns.
The Londregans said they objected to the plea deal Callanan received and asked instead that he be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, which would land him in prison for 26.5 years.
"Your honor, how are we to stay safe?" Dawn Londregan said.
"It is my heartfelt belief that it is not if he will harm our family, but when," she said.
Mrs. Londregan said she and her husband were the only relatives who stepped forward when the state Department of Children and Families removed the child from his home. He was with the couple for nearly two years and has since been returned to his mother.
Timothy Londregan told the judge the couple had turned their home into "a high security fortress" and requested regular police patrols because of Callanan's continued threats.
Callanan apologized for his behavior, saying he was intoxicated and on antidepressants, but said the Londregans had thwarted his efforts to gain custody of his son because they wanted to adopt the child. He called them "selfish and entitled people who think money can buy a child."
"This is just opportunity for them, and guess what?" he said as he turned to the family. "You lost. You no longer have (the child)."
Somebody in the back row of the gallery responded, "And you're in jail."
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Firefighters cleared businesses for about 90 minutes in the area as a precaution.
The victim did not attend the sentencing hearing in New London Superior Court, but her mother spoke at length about the cost to the girl and their family for reporting the crime.