Calamese speaks out for the first time since the death of Lt. Weatherford

Calamese speaks out for the first time since the death of Lt. Weatherford
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - It was a happy homecoming for 18-year-old Tyler Calamese after his bond hearing Friday afternoon. He bonded out of jail on a $5,000 bond.

"I'm happy to be home with my family and not be locked behind bars," said Calamese.

Calamese wasn't the only one happy that he was returning home.

"I give all the praises and glory to the man above because if it wasn't for him, it wouldn't have been possible," said Alexandra Walker, his aunt.

Though Calamese enjoyed seeing his family for the first time in weeks, his stay at home may be short lived.

"Tyler Calamese is facing 32 years combined for his handgun furnishing charge, breaking and entering and theft," said Henry Boyce, prosecuting attorney.

Boyce said he was very disappointed in the judge's ruling to set such a low bond for Calamese.

"We went for a $50,000 bond, but the judge reduced that down to $5,000," said Boyce. "Derrick Heard is facing life in prison for capital murder. Tyler Calamese gave that weapon to Heard who subsequently used it. That is a serious deal, so we feel that a higher bond was appropriate given the circumstances in this investigation."

Despite Boyce's claims, Calamese and his family still believe he is totally innocent.

"I feel that it's bad, but I feel like I can beat it because I didn't do neither one of those charges," said Calamese. "I was at the Harmony Apartments at the time all that went down. When we went in for questioning, they told me an officer said my name and that he saw me."

Now, Calamese is faced with a tough battle to prove his innocence. "He also had several other indicators that we felt were relevant that we put forth in front of the judge," said Boyce.  "Gang activity and other involvement in what I would consider to be a violent nature."

However, Janet Reynolds, Calamese's grandmother feel those allegations do not fit her grandson's demeanor.

"He has been a great kid all his life," said Calamese. "He has never given me any problems. This is a lesson to him to grow his faith in God."

Calamese initially confessed to the murder of Lt. Weatherford, but he said it was all a lie.

"I was just being really pressured to confess," said Calamese. "I just did it, but deep down truly in my heart I didn't do it."

He said that lie burned inside him for weeks.

"At first I was worried and stressed out that I wasn't going to be released or be back with my family, but while I was in jail, I spoke with God, and he set me free, and that was a blessing," said Calamese. "I asked God for a blessing, and he told me 'everything was going to be okay.'"

Calamese also added that he feels sorry for the Weatherford family's loss, but he hopes the truth comes out in this investigation sooner than later.

Both he and Heard are due back in court August 3.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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