JEFFERSON COUNTY – A Jefferson County Jury has found a 45-year-old ‘habitual criminal’ guilty of a 2-day burglary crime spree that ended with the sexual assault of a church choir director.
Linwood Richard Halliburton was found guilty of second degree kidnapping, two counts of sexual assault – force, first degree burglary – assault, robbery, felony menacing, third degree assault, second degree burglary, and theft.
The crime spree began when Halliburton broke into the United Methodist Church at 14th and Brentwood in Lakewood on February 10, 2008.
Haliburton set off the security alarm as he ransacked the church offices, looking for something of value to steal.
He escaped when the minister and her husband came to check on the alarm. While breaking a window to gain entry into the church, Halliburton cut his hand. He left a trail of blood and shoe prints in the snow which police were able to follow from the church to a nearby trailer park.
Lakewood Police agents made every attempt to locate him that night but were unsuccessful.
The following night, February 11, 2009, Halliburton was burglarizing the First Presbyterian Church at 8210 W. 10th Avenue, just a few blocks away, when the 53-year-old choir director arrived to open the church and prepare for choir practice that evening.
When the victim heard suspicious noises coming from the church office Halliburton showed himself. The victim ordered Haliburton to leave and he attacked her hitting and kicking her several times in the face and head. Halliburton grabbed her purse and demanded her PIN numbers. He forced her into a more secluded area of the church and sexually assaulted her. As other members of the choir began to arrive Halliburton fled with the victim’s property.
Lakewood Police were called and arrived within minutes. One of the Lakewood agents recalled the burglary of the nearby church that had occurred the night before.
The agent returned to the trailer park where the trail of blood had come to a dead end. He waited. Halliburton arrived soon after. He had credit cards and other property from the victim’s purse in his pockets.
DNA evidence linked Halliburton to the commission of the burglaries and the sexual assault. Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Jensen said, "It’s hard to believe that at times we cannot even be safe at church, but it’s gratifying to know that through the diligent and professional efforts of the Lakewood Police Department and the courage of our victim we were able to bring this man to justice."
Halliburton took the stand in his defense and admitted the burglaries, saying that he was hungry and drunk. He denied that he sexually assaulted the choir director.
During the trial witnesses told the jury that the First Presbyterian Church had befriended Halliburton many times, providing him with food, gift cards and other assistance.
This is Halliburton’s 6th felony conviction. He has been charged as a habitual criminal and that trial will be on December 10 at 8:00.
Category: Church Security