Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

April 20, 2012

Murderer flees: Halliburton found guilty, jury recommends life without parole

GOSHEN — Tyrice Halliburton re-entered the courtroom at 2:43 p.m. Thursday to hear the verdict. He waited for the jury to return. He waited seven minutes to learn he was a convicted murderer.

Three hours and 10 minutes later, Halliburton learned that same jury was recommending he spend life in prison without parole for killing Sheena Kiska.

Then he was a man on the run. Briefly.

Around 6 p.m., as he was being led out of Elkhart Circuit Court in the Goshen courthouse, Halliburton turned his head toward someone in the front row of the audience section. “I love you,” he said just before exiting.

Then a commotion and a crash was audible. Attorneys and Elkhart County Sheriff’s deputies ran through the doorway after Halliburton.

Soon after, police reported that Halliburton tried to flee but was apprehended.

“He ran,” Bristol Town Marshal Mike Swallow said. “He never made it out of the building.”

The escape attempt wasn’t Halliburton’s first disruption Thursday.

Earlier — after the first guilty verdict and with the jury out of the courtroom — Halliburton was being escorted from the room when he was heard to say, “... because I’m about ready to bug the f--- out.” Then he hit or kicked a door and broke a small portion of it.

Later, a seemingly calmer Halliburton was led back in. Judge Terry Shewmaker told Halliburton sheriff’s officers had asked that he be restrained. Shewmaker said he was reluctant to do so.

The judge asked Halliburton if he could behave himself for the rest of the trial.

“Yes,” Halliburton said.

A young mother dead

Prosecutors said Halliburton murdered Sheena Kiska, a 23-year-old mother of two, on March 18, 2008, at Bristol’s River Shores Apartments. On Thursday, a jury agreed.

Kiska returned to her home, apartment 723, while Halliburton was burglarizing it. He stabbed her to death. He lived in apartment 721.

In March 2008, Kiska lived at River Shores with her fiance, 4-year-old daughter and infant son, but the family was preparing to move. Their home had been burglarized the month before. According to court testimony, Halliburton was the burglar then, too.

This week, jurors heard from Halliburton’s ex-girlfriend, who testified he called her just after killing Kiska and said he’d committed the crime. She also said she helped cover up his involvement in the murder.

Among others, jurors also heard testimony this week from:

• Bristol Police Department Chief Deputy Mike Albin, who said Halliburton’s story kept changing during interviews.

First Halliburton saw Kiska alive at 1:15 the day of her death as he was leaving the building, Albin said. Then he claimed to see a neighbor leaving her apartment with a spot of blood on his shirt.

In a later revision, Halliburton said he saw — through a small gap in a doorway — that same neighbor “cutting (Kiska) up by the TV.”

“He said, ‘I think she came back at the wrong time,’” Albin testified. He also indicated Halliburton could not have seen Kiska’s body from his vantage point. And Albin said details offered by Halliburton matched what police knew about the murder — facts that hadn’t been shared with Halliburton.

In 2010, Albin said, Halliburton told police he hadn’t actually seen his neighbor murder Kiska.

• Kiska’s fiance, Jake Callihan, who said he came home from work on March 18, 2008, to see police vehicles and ambulances at River Shores. He soon realized the problem was in his apartment building. Authorities weren’t letting anyone in or out.

Through a friend, Callihan learned that a neighbor had found a little girl holding a baby. The girl said her mom was hurt. Kiska had a 4-year-old daughter and an infant son.

Callihan said he ran to the back of the apartment building.

“I screamed and hollered for Sheena,” he said, hoping she’d come to the balcony so he could see she was OK.

A police officer asked Callihan who he was.

“Him and a couple officers told me what happened ... That she was dead,” Callihan testified.

The children had been outside the apartment building in a borrowed Ford F150 truck — the one Kiska and Callihan were using to move — when their mother entered apartment 723 for the last time.

After hearing the news of Kiska’s death, Callihan found the children.

“I just held them,” he said in court.

Callihan and Kiska had a son together, and he’s adopted Kiska’s daughter, now 9 years old.

The verdicts

The jury found Halliburton, who didn’t testify at his trial, guilty of murder after about two hours of deliberation.

Prior to that, jurors listened to defense attorney Cliff Williams. He said there was no DNA evidence linking Halliburton to the crime. He called into question the truthfulness of Halliburton’s ex-girlfriend, Nicole DeFronzo, who came forward with what she knew nearly four years after the murder.

Williams said it wasn’t reasonable to think Halliburton did what he did — commit murder, clean up, ditch the clothes he was wearing — in the timeframe laid out by prosecutors.

“There is reasonable doubt in this case,” Williams told jurors.

Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill said Thursday the last thing he wanted to do was defend DeFronzo — she withheld vital information for far too long, he said. Hill also said DeFronzo provided links in the case prosecutors already had against Halliburton.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Vicki Becker said Kiska fought hard for her life. But Hill later described the situation differently — he called it a slaughter.

“She was stabbed over 50 times,” he said. “She never had a chance ... Can you imagine what’s going on in her mind?”

“What about that moment she knew there was no coming back?” Hill asked.

Prosecutors sought life without parole for Halliburton because he killed Kiska during a burglary. That phase of the trial prompted a second round of jury deliberations. It also included testimony from Halliburton’s mother, Sharon Bryson.

As a young child, Bryson said, Halliburton fell from a second-story window and struck his head on concrete. She said her son was later hyper and had behavioral problems at school. Educators said he had attention-deficit, impulse control problems, a learning disability and emotional handicaps.

There were years of counselors, doctor visits and treatments for Halliburton. Bryson also said that when Halliburton was 2 or 3, his biological father cut ties with him.

On the witness stand, Bryson described Halliburton as a calm, peaceful person. She asked that the jury have mercy on him.

“I love my son,” she said.

Halliburton is scheduled to be sentenced in Circuit Court May 17.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • City plan nearing a final draft GOSHEN — The city’s new comprehensive plan is nearing completion, and a near-final draft has now been released for public review. Goshen Plan Commission members released the draft of the city’s newly penned comprehensive plan, titled “Uncommonly Grea

    August 19, 2014

  • GN140820 Hakws building Hotel, brew pub plans progressing GOSHEN — Plans for a new boutique hotel and brew pub at the historic Hawks building in downtown Goshen continue to move ahead steadily.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140820 nappanee awards 031.jpg Nappanee mayor honors 'Spirited' youth NAPPANEE — Two Elkhart County 4-H’ers were honored by their hometown mayor during Monday’s city council meeting. Receiving the Community Spirit Award and a key to the city were Lane Flowers and Sarah Stump. Mayor Larry Thompson recognized Flowers, a

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • arlo.jpg SLIDESHOW: Pets of the Week Cats and dogs are looking for loving permanent homes at the Humane Society of Elkhart County.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nappanee Town Hall 02 Pay increases, gas part of Nappanee's 4% proposed budget increase NAPPANEE — Two percent pay increases and an increase in gasoline spending contributed toward a 4 percent increase in the proposed 2015 city budget. Council members approved the proposed budget on first reading Monday night. As it stands, the total of

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Middlebury Town Hall Middlebury Town Council pays contractors MIDDLEBURY — Most of Monday’s Middlebury Town Council meeting was devoted to approving various payouts to contractors. Those payouts included: • $308,205 to Fetters construction Co., Auburn, for wastewater treatment plant improvement projects. The pr

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SLIDESHOW: The week in photos

    August 19, 2014

  • goshen board of works Plans for boutique, pub move along GOSHEN — Plans for a new boutique hotel and brew pub at the historic Hawks building in downtown Goshen continue to move ahead steadily. Goshen Board of Works and Safety members Monday voted unanimously to approve an agreement with Hawks 1886 LLC for

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140820 IUHG Borden Photo Trash Cancer program generates more than $25,000 GOSHEN — Local residents’ trash became a treasure for IU Health Goshen Center for Cancer Care this month. The center received a $25,992 donation for cancer research from the Trash Cancer Donation Matching Program, sponsored by Borden Waste-Away Servi

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Elkhart County Bldg 01 New cabinet-maker gets zoning change approval GOSHEN — Elkhart County Commissioners Monday gave their stamp of approval to a zone change request allowing for the establishment of a new cabinet-making business near Millersburg. During Monday’s meeting, the commissioners approved a request by prop

    August 18, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
     View Results
AP Video
Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Deadly Landslides in Japan Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Arrests Witnessed in Ferguson Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners