Women charged with murder in California make first court appearance

Two women accused of murder appeared at an extradition hearing this afternoon in Jackson County Circuit Court as their family members protested their innocence.

Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey says Amber Lubbers, 27, and Patricia MacCallum, 26, murdered MacCallum's husband, 34-year-old Michael Christopher MacCallum and left his body at the base of a steep cliff near Applegate Creek in Northern California late last month.

Lopey has stated the pair acted in concert to carry out what he called a premeditated murder. But family members said the women are being falsely accused.

Michael Christopher MacCallum was found Nov. 20 after family and friends reported him missing. He worked in Medford as a driver for Checker Cab and as a bartender. The victim had celebrated his birthday Nov. 17, and had been on a camping trip in northern Siskiyou County near the Oregon border.

An autopsy revealed MacCallum had been shot and left at the base of a steep cliff.

Both women appeared confused at the brief hearing. Judge Tim Barnack first asked Lubbers if she would agree with California's extradition request, or if she wanted another hearing to legally determine her identity. Lubbers requested to be transported to California.

Next up was MacCallum, represented by a public defender who told her an identity hearing would be slated for later this month. The attorney warned MacCallum not to talk about the case with anyone, and advised her that all jail phone calls are recorded.

Both women are being held without bail because they are facing murder charges, Barnack said.

The Siskiyou County sheriff is still looking for information about the case and is asking anyone with knowledge of MacCallum's death to call the agency's 24-hour dispatch number at 530-841-2900.

— Sanne Specht

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