Friend: Halverson improving

The condition of beaten and hospitalized District Judge Elizabeth Halverson has improved, a friend said Sunday.

The suspended judge has been at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center since a late-night attack last week.

Police said Halverson was repeatedly struck with a frying pan.

Her husband, Edward Halverson, has been charged with attempted murder, battery with substantial bodily harm and battery with a deadly weapon. He is being held at the Clark County Detention Center.

Bobbi Tackett said she spent most of Sunday visiting the 50-year-old judge, who underwent surgery for skull fractures Friday.

Tackett said the judge's condition was upgraded from critical to serious Sunday. But she has a lengthy recovery ahead of her, Tackett said.

"Her head is totally bandaged," she said. "She's black and blue over most of her body."

Tackett said Elizabeth Halverson is unable to open her eyes because of swelling and is not very coherent.

Elizabeth Halverson's sisters and mother traveled from San Francisco to be with her at the hospital.

Tackett said she and Elizabeth Halverson's immediate family have received an "outpouring" of support from well-wishers.

Edward Halverson, 49, is scheduled to appear in Justice Court on Tuesday.

On Thursday, authorities had to force their way into the Halversons' home in the 4100 block of Oxnard Circle, near Tropicana Avenue and U.S. Highway 95, after Elizabeth Halverson called 911 and said that her husband was beating her.

Edward Halverson has been arrested at least 10 times in various states on charges ranging from cocaine possession to breaking into a house and stealing property.

The couple were married in 1998.

Elizabeth Halverson was suspended from the bench in July 2007 and faces allegations that she mistreated staff, slept on the bench and improperly communicated with jurors. She failed in her bid to seek re-election this year.

She is awaiting a decision from the Nevada Judicial Discipline Commission that could ban her from the bench for life.

Contact reporter Antonio Planas at aplanas or 702-383-4638.