Childs acquitted in Havasu homicide
LAKE HAVASU CITY – A Santa Cruz, California man tried in a cold case homicide out of Lake Havasu City gained his freedom Monday when the judge directed a verdict of acquittal for the defendant following a hung jury impasse. The developments occurred at the end of a week-long trial for Stacy Childs, 61.
Childs was charged with second-degree murder in the asphyxiation death of a Canadian tourist in April, 2005. The body of Barbara Kalow, 45, Ottawa, was found in her room at the Windsor Inn was checked to find out why she had not checked out.
Deputy County Attorney Amanda Claerhout said a pillow and telephone cord were missing from room #139 and that a medical examiner noted a laceration to Kalow’s cheek, bruising about her neck and ligature marks on her feet.
Kalow’s rental vehicle was missing from the motel property and was later located abandoned on Interstate 15 in California.
Current Lake Havasu City Police Chief Troy Stirling was a detective when investigation led him to interview Childs in 2005. Childs claimed he neither knew nor killed the outdoor enthusiast who was partly drawn to Arizona to view wildflowers in spring bloom.
Renewed analysis of DNA evidence collected from under the victim’s fingernails in 2005 and from Childs in 2008 led to a 2022 decision to charge Childs.
Defense attorney Paul Amann said Childs cooperated with police investigators and willingly provided a DNA sample. “He is very adamant he did not kill her,” Amann told jurors in his opening statement.
Jurors deliberated more than four hours over two days before informing Judge Derek Carlisle they could not reach a unanimous verdict. The judge ended up declaring a mistrial and he excused the jury.
Claerhout subsequently expressed her intent to try Childs a second time. Judge Carlisle derailed that plan directing a verdict of acquittal resulting in Childs’ release from the Adult Detention Center.
“Stacy’s out,” Amann said. “Stacy is relieved, exhilarated and exhausted.”