In this file photo from 2005, Jay Callahan holds a photo of his brother Henry, who was murdered by Robert Wieghard in 1982.
In this file photo from 2005, Jay Callahan holds a photo of his brother Henry, who was murdered by Robert Wieghard in 1982. ( Carlos Javier Sanchez )

CORRECTION: This story originally misspelled the name of Henry Pfau Callahan.

When a 55-year-old man convicted of murdering a Boulder waiter at a Bennigan's restaurant 28 years ago goes before the state parole board Nov. 10, friends and family members of the victim -- along with a representative of the Boulder County District Attorney's Office -- will be there to see that he stays locked up.

Robert Wieghard robbed and then shot Henry Pfau Callahan, 24, execution-style at the Boulder Bennigan's shortly after 1 a.m. June 23, 1982. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with parole eligibility after 20 years.

"This defendant is not a worthy candidate for early release," Ryan Brackley, first assistant to the district attorney, wrote to the Colorado Parole Board. "Starting at 14 years old, the defendant has preyed on innocent members of society in an escalating series of violent crimes -- almost all of them involving the use of weapons, violence and theft -- ending with the murder of the defenseless and innocent Henry Phau Callahan."

Wieghard was on parole for a previous weapons crime when he killed Callahan.

When Wieghard demanded money at gunpoint, according to police, Callahan surrendered, raising his hands and complying with his demands. Still, Wieghard shot Callahan in the head "from a point-blank range," according to Brackley.


A Bennigan's waitress identified Wieghard in a line-up, and while he was awaiting trial, Wieghard offered another inmate in the Boulder County Jail $3,500 to kill the woman who identified him, Brackley said.

At his first parole hearing on Nov. 14, 2005, Wieghard told the parole board that he was drunk when he killed Callahan, and he was robbing the restaurant because he needed money to fuel a drug addiction that began at age 13.

"It's sad, but it's true," he said after admitting to killing Callahan.

Robert A. Wieghard
Robert A. Wieghard

Wieghard does not have an attorney, and no family members spoke at his previous parole hearing. His family could not be located for comment.

Wieghard was denied parole in 2005, and Callahan's brother, Jay Callahan, said he and his brother and sister will be at next week's hearing, along with other friends and family members, to make sure Wieghard remains behind bars.

"It's important for me, and for the people of Colorado, that this guy not get out," Jay Callahan told the Camera. "He is not remorseful at all."

Both of Callahan's parents have died since Wieghard last went before the parole board, and Jay Callahan said it's important to the whole family that they continue fighting for his incarceration.

"I think they would have wanted us to," Jay Callahan said.

Wieghard also committed a series of armed robberies in El Paso County in 1983 and was initially sentenced as a habitual offender to another term of life in prison. That was later overturned due to a technical error, according to the Boulder County District Attorney's Office.

Because of his crimes in southern Colorado, Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May also has sent a letter to the parole board asking that Wieghard stay behind bars.

"This defendant is a habitual offender and a menace to society with total disregard for human life," May wrote in the letter.

Stephen Mace, one of Henry Callahan's close friends, said he and Callahan's other friends and family members will continue fighting for Wieghard's incarceration every five years, if necessary.

If his friend were alive today, Mace said, he imagines that he would have been a good teacher or counselor for young people.

"It's a privilege to get to fight for him," Mace said.