Judge: Attacker ‘gleeful’

Moments before husband Edward Halverson struck her with a frying pan, he had a “wicked, nasty” smile on his face, suspended District Judge Elizabeth Halverson told a grand jury.

“It was like he was gleeful … like I got control here,” she testified, according to transcripts of the Sept. 23 grand jury proceedings.

Edward Halverson struck his wife of 10 years in the head so hard that she was hospitalized and needed more than 100 staples to close the deep wounds, authorities said.

He is being held at the Clark County Detention Center on charges that he tried to murder Elizabeth Halverson at their home near Tropicana Avenue and U.S. Highway 95.

The grand jury transcripts released Monday provide a window into the couple’s marriage and the incident.

Elizabeth Halverson told the grand jury that she sat in her bedroom cleaning green beans on Sept. 4 while her husband watched television in the living room. They talked about marinating some steaks for a future dinner and discussed cooking some ears of corn for that night’s meal.

That night, Edward Halverson, 49, was supposed to cook dinner around 7:30 p.m. He told her he did not want to fix a full meal, so they had decided to boil two ears of corn.

By 10:30 p.m., Edward Halverson hadn’t cooked the corn. So Elizabeth Halverson asked him about it.

“I was a little like hey dude. I mean it’s been three hours, where is the corn? It’s just two ears of corn, how long can it take?” she testified.

Edward Halverson replied that he had not started cooking the corn because “I’m lazy or whatever,” she said.

She also said that he was acting very strangely and that she told him to sleep in a separate room that night because “you’re being very weird.”

She reminded Edward Halverson to use his BiPAP machine, Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure machine.

A BiPAP is a device that allows people to get more air into their lungs, Web sites said. It helps people who suffer from sleep apnea.

Edward Halverson lingered in the bedroom with his wife, making her nervous. She told him to leave and threatened to call the police if he did not go to another room.

He left briefly but returned with a frying pan and a nasty smile, she said. She thought he might have wanted to start cooking but instead he beat her in the head with the pan, she said.

“The next thing I know the frying pan was in his hands and coming down on my head,” she said. “And then I thought oh, I guess we’re not cooking anything.”

At the time, she was lying in bed on her stomach. The blows knocked her to the floor. She said she could not get up because she and the floor were soaked in blood.

She told police that he said something to the effect of: “You can’t hide from me, you can’t get away from me,” according to prosecutor Maria Lavelle.

While she was on the floor, Edward Halverson hit her several more times, Elizabeth Halverson said. She said she put up her arms to defend herself.

At some point, she got back onto the bed and called 911. During the call, she was heard speaking in a conversational tone to Edward Halverson, but her tone became panicked when speaking to the 911 operator. She told the grand jury that she spoke in a normal tone of voice to her husband because she wanted him to calm down.

Elizabeth Halverson said that after the attack, Edward Halverson told her that her eye “looks real bad, hon.” He got her a glass of ice water and wrapped the ice cubes from the glass into a cloth for her eye, she said.

Edward Halverson has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and battery charges in connection with the incident. His attorney, Deputy Public Defender Bita Khamsi, declined to comment Monday.

Elizabeth Halverson is facing a Nevada Judicial Discipline complaint alleging that she created a hostile work environment, fell asleep during trials and improperly communicated with jurors. The commission is set to rule on the complaint within the following weeks. It could permanently bar her from serving as a judge.

Elizabeth Halverson was running for re-election in District Court’s Department 23 but did not make it through the primary.

During the grand jury proceedings, a juror asked her whether she had any emotional pain and suffering.

“Your whole world is kind of turned upside down,” she said.

Contact reporter David Kihara at dkihara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039.

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